More inclusion, less bullying

“When you bring girls together at such a crucial age, you create a strong bond and develop unique connections that create friendships.”

Kate, our Go Girls! program coordinator, had the chance to witness youth come together during her time as a Go Girls! mentor. 

Kate became a volunteer mentor while in university. Having struggled herself as a young teen, she valued the opportunity to offer guidance to girls in need. “It’s such a tough age, and connections are really important,” she remembers. Through Go Girls! Kate was able to witness firsthand the positive impact that the program was having on its participants. “When the girls were brought together, they didn’t know each other. They really got to know each other through the activities. I think that is the most important thing that makes the program so successful. I saw the girls build friendships over the course of 8 weeks.”

Over her five terms, Kate was amazed to see that the participants, with little to no prior connections to each other, learned to accept each other’s differences and find value in each other’s stories. “I loved seeing the inclusion in the groups. The girls would just bypass any judgment and instantly form bonds through the fact that they were all Go Girls.”

While differences among peers typically create opportunities for judgement or bullying, the inclusive environment that Go Girls! provides creates opportunities for participants to bond over shared experiences instead. As Kate said, “It is such a tough age, but the connections they build allow them to develop trust for one another. The kids don’t even see cultural or personal differences; all they care about is that they are Go Girls! peers. When you learn to know someone through a common experience, you are very unlikely to judge them.”

One of Kate’s most meaningful experiences was when one of the participants explained to her that she was new to the school and struggling to make friends. But by the end of the 8-week long session, this new student felt that she had made one. “She came up to my co-mentor and I on the last day, and said that one of the other Go Girls! participants had said “Hi” to her in the hallway. It was the first time she’d made a friend at the school. Her story was very cute and made me so happy, but it was her smile that said it all.”