When members of the Girls Inc. program staff return to our shared work space after a program, we know it won’t take more than a few moments before the stories about the girls start rolling. While many of the stories result in appreciative laughter, I’m often surprised how many of the stories display how smart, wise, and inspiring the girls are. Read below for three recent lessons I’ve learned from our Indy Girls Inc. girls:

1. Always carry a pencil/pen with you.
While observing a program for 6-8-year-old girls at the LeGore Boys and Girls Club, one girl was very insistent she did not need to use the pencil the volunteer offered her. In fact, she informed the volunteer she always had a pencil with her, because you never know when you need one.

2. Appreciate the simple things people do for you.
During a “Put-up Party” at Riverside IPS 44, girls wrote things they appreciate about the other girls in their program. One girl’s comment about what she appreciated about me was surprisingly simple and amusingly genuine. She wrote, “She is nice to me today and take me to bathroom and I got water.” Often the person who helps me pick up the groceries I drop in the parking lot or who holds the door open for me really does make my day brighter. 

3. Spend time enjoying and dedicating yourself to the present.
When asked about a desired future career, one girl surprised me and another staff member with her response. She explained that as a student at Ralph Waldo Emerson IPS 58, she already had a job. She said, “I have a job. Math.” My co-worker followed up and asked if she was a math tutor or helped math teachers. Nope. There was no misunderstanding her statement. She was a student, that was her job, and she needed to study for math.

What lessons have girls taught you?