This year, Girl Talk has really inspired me to be myself. I went into this past year of school, sixth grade, with low self-esteem, and I was terrified of the year to come.  Sometime in August, I went to a Girl Talk meeting at my school, Holy Innocents'.  Over the year, I attended every single Girl Talk meeting even if I had stayed up late the night before studying or what not because I knew that meeting would be uplifting and worth the while.  The meetings were the highlight of my school week, and all of the leaders are so encouraging and fun.  If I was ever feeling sad or down, after a Girl Talk meeting, I would feel happy.

Girl Talk really changed my perspective on life. I learned to be optimistic, treat everyone equally, and to always be myself and be confident in myself.  This summer, Girl Talk Camp, Project Inside Out, really inspired me to be outgoing and nice to everyone.  All of the leaders were so sweet and loving, and no matter what was going on, they would be there for you to give you a hug and make you smile.  Haley Kilpatrick, as you may know, started the Girl Talk program when she was just 15 years old.  I would have never thought that one single person, when they were only fifteen years old, could start something so big that it would affect thousands of girls all over. Haley's story makes me believe that I can do anything that I set my heart to do, and that I can make an impact, too. - Carson, 6th Grade Girl Talk Girl

Girl Talk inspires me because it teaches girls that they are able to do anything they set their mind to, and don’t have to be perfect in the process.  It teaches girls that being beautiful starts from the inside not out.  They teach them to have great self- esteem and that their flaws make them perfectly imperfect.  Girl Talk has helped me to not judge a book by its cover.  To see people by not what they wear but by how they act.  I am glad I am a part of Girl Talk, because it helped me to see a lot of things differently. – Missy, 7th grade Girl Talk Girl

Hi my name is Kalei Stephens and girl talk helped me with a lot of things, but the thing that girl talk helped me the most with was my confidence. I was always concerned that I didn’t look like this person in the magazine or this model, but now I realize that those women are normally photo shopped or have tons of makeup on.  I feel like now I can go back to school with a new found confidence and a new image of who I am and who I am is the only thing that matters. People hear all the time that it’s what is on the inside that counts and you hear that so much now that you don’t pay attention to what it means I feel like if I’m a good person on the inside it will shine through to the outside and going to girl talk has helped me to realize that I am me and that’s all I need to be and that I don’t need to change for anyone else. - Kalei, 6th grade Girl Talk Girl

Middle School.  Three years of one’s life that may seem insignificant, but those three years are when everything changed for me.  My little sheltered world became filled with drama, backstabbers, and best friends who ditched me to become popular.  I was alone and I tried to be strong, but sometimes I felt like nobody understood, not even my friends.  When I found out about Girl Talk in High school, I knew that I needed to start a chapter, but I had no idea how much Girl Talk would change my life.

I love being able to share everything I’ve gone through with these girls, and to help them to know they’re not alone like I was.  But for me, Girl Talk is so much more than that.  I’ve been a leader to girls who have been bullied beyond belief, teased, and taunted.  Girls who have been on the verge of suicide.  Girls whose family lives are unfathomable. But no matter what they’ve been through, there is always a common denominator.  They just want somebody who cares.  Someone to smile at them when they’ve had a bad day.  Someone to say, “I believe in you.”  Someone to let them know that things will change, that the negative can be turned into a positive.

Girl Talk has given me the chance to be that somebody and I have forever been changed.  Now I live for others, because that is more rewarding than anything in the world.  Now I stop gossiping and judging other people, because we are all going through so much.  Now I look for the positive, because it’s so pointless to focus on the bad.  Now I am the best person I can possibly be, all thanks to Girl Talk.  - Natalie, 10th Grade Girl Talk Leader, Inspirational Leader of the Year Award Winner, 2011

Finding out I had the opportunity to give back to middle school girls as I tried to think of a service project in the 11th grade was one of the most life-changing experiences of my life.  Learning how to be a leader, and learning that leading a group with a purpose is paramount, was one of the most invaluable lessons I’ve ever learned.  - Courtney, College Sophomore, Former Girl Talk Leader, National Leader of the Year 2009

Honestly, I was so impressed with Haley as the founder of Girl Talk, that I wanted to learn more about the organization and certainly see how I might help.  There are several reasons I believe in Girl Talk and the mission of helping young girls.  First of all, I was once a young girl in middle school and I remember how difficult those years were.  Personally and professionally I recognize the challenges of the pre-teen and early teen years and Girl Talk makes a difference by allowing girls to explore key issues and build skills around a healthy respect for self and others, intrapersonal relationships, effective communication, as well as some of the specific concerns the girls might have.  One of the more impressive aspects of Girl Talk is the safe environment for the exploration and skill building.  And even more importantly, in an environment in which these young girls thrive– a group setting with high school girls mentoring the younger girls – this model is the most developmentally appropriate and effective model for interacting with this particular age group. - Kelli Ritter, Ph.D. & Girl Talk Advisory Board Member

Over the summer, I saw the advertising signs for Girl Talk and thought it would be a good experience for my daughter to attend the week-long summer camp to help prepare her for middle school relationships.  Girl Talk is all about liking yourself first and learning how to be a good friend to others, along with a surprising number of other life-skills.  The week my daughter spent at camp was incredibly life-changing for her.  I’ve become such an advocate for the program and its positive effects on young girls.  One of the most impactful aspects of the program is that as today’s participants get older, they can be tomorrow’s mentors to young girls.  Learning the lesson of “paying it forward” and having participants and mentors so able to relate to each other’s world is what makes it work. -  Barbara Stice, mother of a 7th grade Girl Talk Girl

In my 45 years of educational leadership, I have not witnessed a more productive activity for middle school girls.  I only wish that all of the girls at the age level across the country could have the privilege of a similar experience. - W.T. Henry, Headmaster, Deerfield-Windsor School

As long as I am at Holy Innocents' Episcopal School, you can be assured of a partner and supporter in me and the school!  Girl Talk is an incredible organization, doing incredible things! – Rick Betts, Head of School, Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School

Wow!  I have never been more impressed with a program in my life!  And, Lucy has had the time of her life!  Girl Talk is amazing.  She has learned so much from her Girl Talk Leaders and has developed a lasting relationship with these high school girls!  Thank you! – Deborah Gebhardt, Mother of a Girl Talk Girl

My 9th grade daughter has helped out with the summer camps and has given her time and talents in a variety of ways but even more important to her mother and me is what she has learned and how she has grown as a young woman.  That can never be measured nor does it have a price tag but I guarantee; as life goes on, Girl Talk will have made a huge difference in her life. - Reide Onley, Father of a Girl Talk Leader

I am amazed at the success of Girl Talk.  Dads are unaware of what their daughters go through, and a lot of dads who hear the issues don’t take them seriously.  The impact girls have on other girls really puts things into perspective. – Robert Johnston, Father of a Girl Talk Girl

Girl Talk has been a great tool to enhance our SMART Girls Program, the self-esteem and leadership skills gained through this mentoring program speak volumes.  I would recommend Girl Talk’s curriculum to help the young women at all Boys & Girls Clubs! - Claire Guitton, V.P. of Strategic Programs, Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Atlanta

Girl Talk has proven itself to be a highly effective program with both our Middle and Upper School girls. It provides the older girls with a positive and organized way to be leaders while providing the younger girls with tools to help them grow into healthy independent woman. There is no doubt in my mind that our students will look back and remember the advice they were given and experiences they had with their Girl Talk leaders and peers. It is an powerful, fun, and exciting addition to our school day!” - Kara Friedman MS, EdS, NCC, LPS, Girl Talk Advisor & Advisory Board Member

Each Girl Talk camp session I went too had an event where we would sit and reflect over a song. In one session we wrote on a sheet of paper about what we wanted to forget in the "Bucket of Renewal" and the last session had something where we placed a penny inside a piggy bank and say what we wanted to change in ourselves and to the community around us. When I was a counselor for Girl Talk for the first time this summer, I didn't know what exactly to expect. But those moments with one slip of paper and the two clinks of the pennies and saying what was in our hearts, made me hold my breath and think how age doesn't matter if someone needed a hug or a smile after expressing their raw emotions. This is what I love about Girl Talk. We take down our boundaries and learn to connect even if it's just a moment or even hours and hours every day. It's helped me so much to lend a helping hand, comfortably and happily. - Grace Chung, 10th Grade Girl Talk Leader

This year was my first year as a Girl Talk counselor, but  I had attended camp before as a camper.    Girl Talk, of course,  is all about helping middle school girls face issues that we all have to deal with in one way or another.   It is that, but it is so much more to me...When I look at Haley and all the volunteers I see what amazing women they are.  Women who care about us, women who have touched the lives of so many young girls.  I see very best kind of role model.  When I look at the campers and other counselors, I see girls lifting each other up and I  see girls who realize they are not dealing with things alone.  I see talent and potential and all the things that we can learn from each other. And, then I look at myself and I see my hopes, my fears, and my dreams.   Girl Talk has helped me realize that there is so much I really can do.  Girl Talk has given me the tools to negotiate difficult situations, but more than that it has inspired me to try to make a difference every single day even in the smallest of ways. Next Friday, I am starting the 9th grade at a completely new school and I am pretty nervous about negotiating all the new situations.  But, I have learned a lot from Girl Talk that will help me face those situations and I certainly have lots of friends to call when I need backup.  They don't have a Girl Talk chapter at the new school yet, so I know that the first things on my list is to start one because I feel that every girl should have the chance to know the things Girl Talk has to teach them.  – Ansley Edwards, 9th Grade Girl Talk Leader

I just wanted to take a moment to thank all of you involved with Girl Talk for the wonderful learning experience this organization is providing to all of the girls involved. My daughter is enjoying this experience very much and I enjoy the fact that she is meeting so many nice young ladies. We hear and see so much in the media about the negative actions of our youth, but this organization is an example so much good our youth have to offer. God bless you all. - Ruth Wilson, Mother of a Girl Talk Leader

Girl Talk has really had an incredible influence in my life. I got involved as a leader when I was a sophomore because my sister was entering middle school and I wanted to try to ease the transition for her and keep her from going through everything I went through. The moment I started working with Girl Talk I fell in love; it became about so much more than simply helping my sister. I love all the girls who have come through my chapter over the past three years and have truly been blessed to learn as much from them as I hope they learned from me. Project Inside Out is an even more powerful Girl Talk program-- it allows girls from around Atlanta and the state of Georgia to come together and really get in touch with who they are and express that freely in a loving environment. I was lucky enough to be asked to be the Lead Counselor for PIO this summer, and the experience has been nearly inexplicable. I was able to watch middle school girls grow and learn lessons it took me until senior year to finally grasp. Parents, encourage your girls to try Girl Talk- it will be one of the best gentle nudges you will make during their time in middle school. Middle school girls, I promise it is an experience you will not want to miss out on. High school girls, get involved. I am being completely honest when I say that Girl Talk has urged me to be more compassionate and aware, a better leader, listener, and sister, and a more mature person simply through witnessing the growth of the girls I have come into contact with. Get involved because you have lessons to teach and wisdom about middle school to impart, but know that you will leave having been taught more than you could have imagined. - Megan Ernst, Former Girl Talk Leader

I am a Girl Talk Leader and have been for the past two years. Middle school was so hard for me and when I heard about Girl Talk, I instantly knew I could give back and help middle school girls not go through what I did. What I didn’t know was that being a Girl Talk Leader would open up so many doors for me as a “community leader”. I love being greeted by hugs by middle school girls I see around town, but most importantly I am proud of the difference this program has allowed me to make in my community. I am truly a better person because of it and look forward to this school year and becoming even better. Thank you Girl Talk! – Meredith Head, Former Girl Talk Leader & Teen Advisory Board Member

Girl Talk has changed my life in so many ways. It has been a great outlet for me and I have every intention of working with Girl Talk in the years to come. I told myself when I started my Chapter, if I could help one girl avoid the mistakes I made when I was younger, everything I went through would be worth it. My dreams have come true this year and I am so thankful for the continued encouragement and opportunities Girl Talk has provided me with." – Kerry Grogin, Former Girl Talk Leader & 2008 Girl Talk National Leader of the Year

Working with Girl Talk has been incredible, but my absolute favorite part about the organization is Project Inside Out! It's a safe environment that girls can come to for advice, knowledge, and empowerment. The girls that leave Project Inside Out, leave feeling as though they can conquer any obstacles that may come their way. Being that I was a victim of bullying throughout my elementary and middle school years, I am thrilled that there is a program like Project Inside Out where girls can be built up, rather than torn down as young girls often are these days. There certainly wasn't anything like Girl Talk when I was that age, so I am honored to be a part of something so innovative! - Kamie Crawford, Miss Teen USA 2011

Project Inside Out was truly one of the best experiences of my life. It taught me to love and respect my inner beauty. During the course of that week, I made so many new friends both in middle school and high school. Every day was a new experience and was always fun! After each day, we would stand up in front of everyone and share a funny memory or thank a special counselor. We played the most fun games (which I taught to my other friends) and we learned a fun dance. After the week was over, I felt like I had met lifelong friends. I will always remember Project Inside Out because it made me realize that I am beautiful on the inside and outside! - Katie Cross, 9th Grade Girl Talk Leader

Girl Talk truly has touched my heart from watching it work its magic on young ladies in our community.  This summer at a Project Inside Out Girl Talk Camp I observed one young lady I have known for two years and have always tried get eye contact from when saying “hello”.  Her shoulders were always hunched over, head down with eyes to the floor.  For those two years upon being spoken to, her head would raise but never eye contact. Imagine my amazement when I arrived to the camp mid-week and there was that very same young lady standing at a microphone in front of 70 of her peers confidently speaking and laughing!  Also as powerful was watching the “popular” girls cheering and embracing a girl they had barely even noticed the past two years they had been in classes together. The tears streamed down my face knowing Girl Talk touched her life and quite possibly changed her path and future! As a mother of two young daughters I want this program available to them, their peers, and generations to come. Please join us in helping young ladies around the world become ladies filled with character and confidence. - Julie Huff, Mother of a Girl Talk Girl

I had the privilege of counseling at last year’s Project Inside Out. Words cannot even begin to describe the awesome time I experienced at this camp. I had always had a heart for Girl Talk, but after I spent this one-on-one time with the girls I realized just how much this amazing organization means to me. On my first day of camp, I was extremely nervous about meeting the girls, but by the end of the week we had all become more than friends -- it was almost as if we were family! If you have heard about Girl Talk's Project Inside Out and are possibly thinking about attending next year, I strongly urge you to do so! Through this camp, I have seen girls transformed from shy, unspoken individuals to vibrant, outgoing butterflies in a matter of days! I can't wait to go back next year and give other girls a desire to inspire! - Lauren Stotler, Former Girl Talk Leader

“Do you remember your middle school years? I certainly do. My experience was full of uncertainty about who I was and what I stood for. I strove to be a Leader, but when no one else agreed with me, my efforts fell to the wayside, and I followed the crowd. The crowd that I followed was the popular one. I can’t tell you how many times I tried to nudge into the tight knit circle formed at break to be a part of the daily gossip. Gossiping went against everything I wanted to be, but I felt to be included it was necessary. Once I entered high school, I finally found out who I was. I am Mary Catherine, a strong, independent leader who doesn’t need the popular girl’s approval to succeed. I started mentoring through Girl Talk and found that I was not the only one who experienced this in middle school. From mentoring young girls through their middle school years, my life has been enriched. I have found and a sense of accomplishment in seeing the cruel cycle of middle school change. Girls are finally standing up for themselves and carving out their own path, one tat others will follow in the future. Not only do the girls benefit from Girl Talk but the Leaders do as well. From being a Leader, I have developed essential skills that have spilled over into other aspects of my life. Selflessness and generosity become a way of life for Leaders and that positive spirit shapes the girls’ attitudes. Being a Leader requires dedication to the high expectations placed before you. Whether you realize it or not, the girls you mentor are religiously watching and following your footsteps because you represent a woman they wish to become. Leading Girl Talk requires dedication that is immensely rewarding because you help transform lives.” - Mary Catherine Kinney, Former Girl Talk Leader & 2006 National Leader of the Year

“Girl Talk makes a difference in a young girl’s life everyday- I wish I would have had ‘Guy Talk’ when I was growing up.” – Chad Michael Murray, Actor

“Girl Talk is a support system for young girls. The program helps girls find strength and courage within themselves, which is so important to their self-esteem during the teenage years. Even as Miss Teen USA, the times I have volunteered and worked with various Chapters, I have walked out feeling empowered! Keep up the good work.” - Stevi Perry, Miss Teen USA 2008

The past few years since my reading about GIRL TALK have been filled with such magical positive energy from being involved in this amazing program and also from getting to know your beautiful spirit amongst the harsh realities that life sometimes dishes out!  Joanna and I continue to grow stronger as we enjoy being “GIRL TALK GIRLS”. We are hooked for life. - Karen Firestone, Mother of a Girl Talk Leader