Name: Megan Young
Programs facilitated: 8
1. How did you learn about Girls Inc.?
F.A. Wilhelm Construction has been a long-time supporter of Girls Inc. and has been a Touchstone Awards sponsor over the years. In 2014, I attended the luncheon, immediately bought into the mission, and got plugged in.
2. Why did you choose to volunteer with Girls Inc.?
Mentoring and advocating for young women is something I’m passionate about. The mission to make strong, smart and bold girls is exactly how I want to be spending my time, empowering the next generation.
3. What have you enjoyed most about volunteering with Girls Inc.?
These girls teach me just as much as I teach them. I’ve enjoyed challenging them to think about their world differently. As they discover their role in this world and what they can do to change the perception of where they should be, you can see their willingness to rise above those preconceived notions and chart their own paths.
4. Does any facilitation memory or any one of the girls stand out to you? Explain.
In my first school, I taught Redefining Beauty. Over those six weeks, the girls came to understand each other and opened up about some difficult times in their lives. That program stands out to me because they overcame the cliquey nature of middle school, even if it was just for that one hour. They were vulnerable there and became stronger because they learned the tools they needed to value themselves from the inside out.
5. Why do you think Girls Inc. programs are beneficial to girls?
These programs are invaluable to girls. So often I’ll have a girl who is moving ask if I’ll be at their next school; I want to always tell them “yes.” Creating a supportive and empowering environment where girls can be vulnerable and share is essential to positive growth during their adolescent years.
6. Have you noticed any changes in your own life since volunteering with Girls Inc.?
The more I volunteer and grow with the girls, the more I learn about myself and the world they’re growing up in. They keep validating why I do this. It’s so important for them to have positive, female role models and I’m grateful that I get to continue being that role model for them through teaching these programs.
7. What kind of things have you learned after facilitating a Girls Inc. program?
In my recent Media Literacy class with fourth-grade girls, I learned who YouTube stars Jake Paul and Logan Paul were. I also learn new words like ones they use to describe themselves or their environment. Every 6-week cycle, I also learn a lot about each girl, what they contribute to the discussion and how they challenge stereotypes. These girls are sharp. You can tell they have grown up in the programs and want to learn.
8. Give a tip to volunteer program facilitators about volunteering or working as a team.
Girls give up their own time to participate in the program, so I’m always grateful for their attention. To help them get the most out of the program, I feel the girls are most eager to learn when you outline the benefits of the program up front giving them an overview of what’s in store for them over the next 6 weeks.
9. Give a tip to Girls Inc. Girls.
You will get out of these programs the effort you put into them. Participate, listen to your peers, and engage with questions. Your facilitators want you to share and apply the knowledge you learn in these programs into your everyday lives. Bring your attention to every Girls Inc. session so that you can learn how to be better friends and a stronger, smarter, bolder you.