Coach Jennifer, an MSW student from Chicago State University and coach in our After School Middle School program, shares a recent experience:
Over the last couple of months we all have been working hard to earn the trust of the girls we coach, hoping that they are absorbing the true meaning behind the curriculum that we are teaching them. While coaching this week, I was reminded again as to why I chose to pursue a career in social work and the true meaning behind the mission of Girls in the Game. While waiting for programming to start, one of our young ladies came in before everyone else and, without prompting, began to share with myself and my co-coach a recent trauma that had taken place in her life. This amazing young lady expressed that she had been extremely scared of losing her mother due to gun violence a few weeks ago and explained to us how she had stepped up and was helping to take care of her younger brother while also trying to stay focused on her school work. All these weeks had passed and not once during programming had there been any inclination that this young lady was dealing with an issue of this magnitude. I appreciate that this young lady trusted us enough to confide in us and felt comfortable that we would be there for her like we had previously expressed.
What breaks my heart is that her story is not unique among the young ladies that we coach. Each day I am truly amazed of the resilience that the young ladies display and I appreciate that once they step foot inside Girls in the Game programming, they are able to be themselves, express their feelings, and learn that they are the amazing individuals that we as coaches see them to be.