Strong Girls, Strong Leaders
A Leadership Program for High School Girls
By Tim Jordan, M.D.
These programs will assist girls to acquire the following skills:
- be authentic, speak your mind, and command respect from your peers
- stand up for yourself and other girls
- take opportunities to be in charge by leading activities and exercises
- help other girls work through issues and conflicts
- run class meetings as a means to process through conflicts and current issues
- develop skills of collaboration, brainstorming and teamwork
- take responsibility individually and as a class/team for creating a safe, respectful, and caring learning community
- work with girls in younger classrooms through modeling and teaching friendship programs
There are several issues that can hold girls back in athletics; fear of failure and making mistakes; taking feedback from coaches and peers too personally; bringing conflicts with friends from school onto the playing field; using “mean girl” tactics to resolve friendship conflicts. Because of these challenges, girls may play it safe, use the sports arena to settle social scores started in school, and create the same distrustful and disrespectful atmosphere that exists in school.
This program will allow the girls a safe space they need to address these issues and proactively create the team they want.
Because of the ways that girls have been conditioned in our culture, they often find it a challenge to step up into leadership roles. They define leadership in terms of friendships and thus are vulnerable to compromise doing what they know is right for the sake of maintaining relationships. Girls fear being judged by other girls as being conceited and “all that”, making it hard to voice their opinions, stand out, disagree, own their gifts, and say what they think.
This program will allow girls a safe space to explore these challenges, to stretch themselves, and to develop the courage and skills to bust out and become strong leaders.
Clubs and Extra-Curricular Activities
Clubs and other extra curricular activities are a great way for girls to find kindred souls who share their interests and passions. These small group settings can create an easier way for girls to connect, or it can provide another, more intense setting for relationship aggressions. Getting the most out of these activities requires that girls feel safe, respected, heard and connected. Relationship dramas and conflicts can get in the way of girls stepping up to be leaders and to participate fully.
This program will allow girls a safe space to address these issues and to create the trusting, respectful environment they need and want in order to have fun and actively engage in these activities.
This program will give girls the safe space they need to work on their social and emotional intelligences and to develop their inner resumes and leadership skills. They will then have the opportunity to practice these skills in several ways: by working with small groups of younger girls to teach them what they’ve learned about relational aggressions and handling conflicts directly and share their stories about what they’ve learned from their friendship experiences.
How the program looks
- Work with a group of 10 – 15 senior girls.
- Start with a 1/2 day, one day or overnight retreat at the start of school year or the week prior to the start of school.
- 6 – 90 minute follow up meetings spread out over the semester are then designed to keep teaching the girls new skills and practicing what they have learned to incorporate and use the skills.
- These girls would then be trained as peer-helpers to teach these skills to the freshman/sophomore girls.
- Pairs of these peer-helpers would work with small groups of freshmen (max.20 girls) to share their own stories about what they have experienced with friends throughout middle school and high school, how the relationship aggressions cost them individually and as a class, and what they’ve learned about doing it differently.
- These girls could also be called upon by any others in the school who need help mediating conflicts. They could present skits at assemblies, write articles in the school paper, create flyers for the hallways, and present short reminder presentations during homeroom periods throughout the school year.
- They become the leaders, initiators, and creators of a more healthy, kind school community
- Smaller packages for specific smaller clubs or teams, i.e. sports team, student council, etc.
- Initial 3 hour (1/2 day) meeting
- Four – 90 minute follow up meetings to continue follow through
- Call for pricing on customized package that best meets your school’s needs.