Welcome to Girl Talk
Girl Talk (www.mygirltalk.org) is an international non-profit peer-to-peer mentoring program with a very simple premise: high school girls mentor middle school girls to help them deal with the issues they face during their formative early teenage years. Our mission is to help young teenaged girls build self-esteem, develop leadership skills and recognize the value of community service. Since 2002, our organization has served more than 40,000 girls in 43 states and 7 countries.
Through weekly chapter meetings facilitated by high school Girl Talk Leaders, Girl Talk helps middle schools learn from their peer mentors and better understand and address the issues they face. In doing so, the girls develop confidence, leadership skills and compassion. Girl Talk provides the curriculum of life lessons used to facilitate the discussions at no charge.
Girl Talk's program is twofold: high school Leaders have the opportunity to share their experiences as positive role models. And middle school girls have the chance to learn that they are not alone in the issue they face and that understanding, kindness and compassion can be the foundation for better relationships with others. Research consistently reveals that grades 5-8 are the most formative years of a young person's life. We believe that the lessons learned in Girl Talk contribute to girls becoming more confident, service-minded women with better relationships. Girl Talk also helps women become stronger leaders in the work place and more effective as parents.
... through local Chapters at schools, churches, clubs or anywhere else girls gather. We encourage high school girls to think outside the box if their school is unable to host Girl Talk meetings at their school. The complementary goal of our program is to provide high school girls with a unique leadership opportunity in which their positive choices and example can have a lasting effect on younger girls. Through the engagement of both age groups, it is also our goal to have a meaningful impact on the broader community by teaching the importance of giving back and making community service an integral part of the program and, we hope, a habit for participating girls as they move into adulthood.
...behaviors in middle school aged girls, as well as the positive impact of mentoring. 2009 data suggests that, of the middle school girl population in the U.S.:
- 9% are pregnant
- 22% never make it through high school (drop out)
- 27% have been or will be suicidal
- 34% have eating disorders
- 55% experiment with alcohol, drugs or tobacco
- and, of those with low self-esteem, 25% resort to self-injurious behavior and 75% report engaging in activities such as disordered eating, cutting, bullying, smoking or drinking
The good news is that data also suggests that youth who are mentored are:
- 27% less likely to begin using alcohol
- 37% less likely to skip class
- 46% less likely to begin using illegal drugs
- 52% less likely to skip school, are more confident in their academic performance, and get along better with their families
... We believe that this impact is multiplied when you consider that it does not include the advisors, family members, friends and community service recipients also affected by the engagement of these girls. Of those girls who have participated in our program, 83% have chosen to go on to become leaders of the program in high school, and studies have demonstrated that they have had an academic improvement of 14% in mathematics and 24% in language arts.
But here’s what excites us most: Our POTENTIAL impact includes 9.7 million U.S. middle school aged girls (ages 10-14), and 290 million internationally!