GENaustin would like to extend a thank you to all of our volunteers over the last year for their committment to empowering girls. To celebrate their work we’re highlighting the experiences of two of our extraordinary volunteers, who were kind enough to share some of their favorite things about working with girls over the last semester.
Liz Garcia and Gabriella Laurel serve as workshop volunteers for GENaustin’s Girl Talk workshops for Middle and High School girls, covering topics like Abuse vs. Respect , The Media & Me and Communication With Parents.
Liz: One thing I love about being a workshop volunteer is getting girls to share what they think. As a kid, I don’t think anyone ever asked my opinion, and I love that GENaustin does that. I was surprised by how open some of the girls can get. “Friendship Counts” is a very personal curriculum that touches a lot of girls and really helps them express their feelings. It helps put everything they’re going through into words. They teach me so much every time- and they surprise me with their responses every time.
Gabriella: Doing a workshop at a high school is different that working with middle school girls. It was interesting to see how willing the high school girls were to share and see how quickly they discovered they had things in common. As they are talking about relationships and giving each other support, they’re saying things like, “Girl, you need to…” These discussions develop where they are giving each other advice and bonding in a great atmosphere. Even if they weren’t close friends before, they were open to discussing everything going on in their lives.
I love the moment when things get real, when someone has the courage to speak their truth & then it opens up the floodgate because one person spoke up. It creates this energy that this is a safe place to discuss what they’re really thinking and feeling.
If you’re interested in volunteering with GENaustin, we have a variety of opportunities available to work with girls!