Thomas Jefferson

High School | Home of the Spartans

Girls Inc.

Posted 01/28/2009 by Asia Dorsey

Real issues. Real Conversations. Now at TJ.

girlsinc_smallGirls Incorporated, a national nonprofit youth organization dedicated to inspiring all girls to be strong, smart, and bold is coming to TJ during excel time on January 28th.

TJ School Counselor Erin Thompson, and Social Worker Samanda Davis are responsible for bringing the program to TJ. Thompson explains, “We’re offering 10 weeks of workshops on various topics such as body image, gender stereotypes, goal setting and many more.” TJ girls even have the opportunity to suggest two topics of their choice. “It’s a chance for girls to talk with girls about girl issues.”

The counselors believe that in the halls of Thomas Jefferson there seems to be a disconnect between the female students of everyday high school. Senior Khalae Adams comments, “Girls can be real catty sometimes, and most of the time it’s aimed at other girls. There is something missing like unity among females in general.”

Many administrators agree, including Assistant Principal Scott Lessard. “I think there are certain pockets of girls who really don’t understand the necessary communication skills to be successful in life. I think having a program that teaches a positive way to learn these skills is a great idea,” he said.

Thompson and Davis believe girls coming together in a safe environment to talk openly about the things going on in their lives can help remedy some of these problems. Girls Inc. Is facilitated by a community member and is entirely confidential, so girls can feel completely comfortable expressing themselves.

The Girls Inc. movement started in New England during the Industrial Revolution as a response to the needs of a new working class. Women from rural areas, farms and cities began taking jobs in mills and textile factories. The oldest Girls Incorporated group formed in 1864 in Waterbury, Connecticut. It provided support for the women working in mills and the daughters of mill families who had nowhere to go but the streets. Girls Incorporated provided support and a warm and friendly place for women to go during the depression, and continues to provide a safe place for women today.

“We are offering the opportunity for Thomas Jefferson students to partake in real conversations about topics that are having an impact on them,” says Thompson.
The Girls Inc. workshops come without any requirements and are offered to all girls of all ages and races at TJ. Some students will be invited by teacher or councilor referrals, and for those who aren’t referred they can always sign up. There are a limited amount of spots for the program, so go down to the counseling office and talk with Erin Thompson or Samanda Davis with questions and sign up requests.