Leaders are people who motivate and inspire others to do the right thing. Leaders become role models, who are a vital part of every young girl’s success. In our Teen Squad program, we work to ensure that our teens develop the skills essential to be leaders in their communities and beyond.
We have a diverse group of girls in Teen Squad. Some girls are shy, and some are more outspoken. We train these girls how to step up if they are shy, and how to let others have a chance if they are very outspoken. After completing training, the teens take on the role of a leader as they facilitate workshops for younger girls in Girls in the Game almost completely on their own. It is inspiring to watch the teens learn from each workshop and respond to some challenging situations with the young girls without even asking for my help.
Recently at a workshop, our teens were faced with an elementary school group who has a history of behavioral challenges. Once we realized how gaining the girls’ attention would be a difficult task, I was going to suggest to alter a game to sitting and clapping instead of standing and jumping, but the teens beat me to the punch and implemented this change on their own. As their co-coaches, we are always there if the teens need help, but we work hard to ensure that they can handle most situations independently.
Watching the teens grow throughout the year has been a privilege. They have worked as a team, developed co-coaching skills, and became true leaders to the younger girls. When we step into an After School site, the girls come running up to the teens because they are so excited that they are going to be coaching.
Another moment when I saw the teens take on leadership roles was when the seniors spoke at our Field of Dreams gala. Each teen showed bravery, strength and confidence as she stood at the podium describing what the heart of a champion was, how they have grown through Girls in the Game, and what their future endeavors will be after graduation. This required an amount of bravery that I am sure I did not have as a senior in high school. Girls in the Game assists in the development of strong teen leaders who will continue to lead and inspire those who look up to them as they progress through life.