This paper outlines a proposal for a community organization with a purpose of outreach to young girls. The organization does not limit itself to one issue; therefore it relies on a great number of current local organizations for collaboration. This organization, called “girl to girl” will be constructed upon building positive self-image amongst girls aged thirteen to nineteen.
“Girl to Girl” will be a drop-in centre located in the city of Prince George, BC.This paper discusses the demographics and statistics surrounding the difficult issues girls of this age struggle with and how they relate to the “Girl to Girl” centre, and how it will provide a needed service to the Prince George community. Community Organization Proposal “Girl to Girl” Drop in Centre “Girl to Girl” is a drop-in centre for all girls aged ten to eighteen. It is not exclusive to ‘high-risk’ girls, whom the centre also serves, but also those who have potential for concern to be ‘at risk’.
The Centre’s focus is on developing positive self-image and identity through the interaction and positive influence of peers, mentors, and skilled workers. “Girl to Girl” will be an asset to the community of Prince George. It will include various programs and offer specific sessions as well as informative classes designed for the development of positive identity and healthy self-esteem.All programs will work with a positive peer focus—meaning the girls will work together to maintain a positive atmosphere while helping one another.
Programs and sessions will include: Beauty Parlor, Artistic Endeavors, Talent Exploration, and Recreational Activity. Classes will cover: Student/Peer Workshops, Mentor Friends, Parent Nights, and Teacher/Tutor Help. (See Appendix C for a more detailed description of these programs). Girl to Girl” will apply the strength based approach—a perspective allowing us to overcome limiting views of youth—shifting attention away from what the youth is not doing, or cannot do, to what they have the ability to do (School of Child and Youth Care, 2010), to its’ programs.
Because we are not able to understand a person in isolation and must consider influences known as their ecological system, the girls’ ecological system outside of the centre will be explored as well, and a healthy ecological system at the centre will be introduced.Through the application of the strength-based approach to behaviours resulting in poor self-image, and the exploration of the youth’s ecological system and adaptation to new introduced positive ecological surroundings provided by the atmosphere of the centre and challenged through classes—a hopeful outcome of healthier living choices, resulting in healthy positive identity and self-esteem will result. Community Demographics and Statistics A variety of outcomes result from negative youth identity. Issues such as eating disorders, substance abuse, violence and racism play a role in a damaged self-esteem.
Statistics lend us some understanding of how many people require access to help for issues that tear apart individuals’ lives. Associations in Prince George According to statistic fact from the City of Prince George (2008)—taken from Statistics Canada, the population of Prince George is 83,225. In 2006 Statistics Canada (2010) had the population of girls aged ten to nineteen at seven percent of the total population of Prince George. Applying seven percent to the more recent population data, there would be 5825 females aged 10 to 18 in Prince George.
Local statistics find a substantial number of girls requiring services from a number of agencies Youth Around Prince George—YAP had over 2000 teenage girls, ages 13-19, walk through their doors in 2009/2010; this reflects almost one third of the population of teenage girls in Prince George. The Prince George Pregnancy Crisis Centre helped 19 girls aged 15-19 through their pregnancy in 2009. The Adolescent Psychiatric Assessment Unit serves over 60 adolescent females a year for mental health issues, and the Nechako Youth Treatment Centre’s seven beds are full 90-100% of the time with average stays of two to three weeks (Dhaliwal, 2010).Numerous other youth agencies operate collaboratively within the city.
Physical Space Prince George is a Northern city with filled with over 1600 beautiful lakes and streams within an hour of the city limits as well as mountains for skiing and hiking. Prince George has a large amount of rural land and many residents will hike, bike, walk, and canoe in the outlying areas. Prince George offers a great number of city space as well with 120 Parks in city limits. This provides great opportunity for youth to stay healthy and active.
Indoor facilities such as Aquatic Centers and the YMCA offer physical activity options. (See Appendix A and B for a list of physical spaces and their descriptions in Prince George. ) Institutions Youth have endless opportunity to exercise their minds. The Public Library offers an extensive collection of educational materials.
Alternative education programs for high risk youth ages 16-18 work at their own pace to upgrade to grade 10 and learn life skills. Pathways is a grade 10-12 education program for teen moms.They provide life skills, nutrition, parenting, college, daycare, and employment guidance. These are just a few of many educational opportunities for young girls in the community.
(See Appendix A and B for a list of institutions and their descriptions in Prince George. ) Local Economy Prince George is a community whose local businesses are willing to become involved in making our community a better place. Music shops provide opportunity for artistically inclined youth. PG Transit provides cheap or free bussing within the city limits to youth requiring transport.
Relatively inexpensive clothing thrift shops make affordable shopping for lower income shoppers. “Hire a student” is a program offered in Prince George creating opportunity for youth to work. (See Appendix A and B for a list of some of the local economy and their descriptions in Prince George. ) Individuals Numerous individuals with the community of Prince George volunteer their time.
Artists, musicians, licensed trade workers, teachers, parents, and mentors are able to volunteer their time to help youth learn and explore their own gifts and talents. Strengths and Challenges A high-self-esteem and a positive self-concept are important for a child’s well-being. ” (Santrock, MacKenzie-Rivers, Leung, Malcomson, 2008, p. 252).
Young girls, teenagers, are developing and, as adolescents, part of their development will see them “…try out different identities…to find out where they fit in the world” (Santrock et al, 2008, p. 317). This is a strength and a challenge. Young girls are faced with many decisions as they grow through their adolescent years.
Their relationships will change constantly. Friends will love them and hate them. Sexual relationships will begin and end.How others view them will become more important as they become more aware of those in their ecological system.
Their bodies will change; sometimes favourably, creating a positive self-image, and sometimes change to their disgust creating negative self-image. Young girls are very brave and begin to feel very powerful; however, this can change quickly if circumstances in their lives present verbal, mental, physical or sexual abuse. Socially, a young girls world can change overnight. These young girls find themselves having to make adult-like decisions, when often they are still often children.
The purpose of “Girl to Girl” is to encourage a positive identity by encouraging healthy self-image and growing strong self-esteem. Associations Consider YAP. YAP provides services to youth mainly through referral to other existing agencies in Prince George. Services provided help youth with their transition into post-secondary school, encourage fitness, opportunity to develop abilities such as theatre, and much more.
YAP will refer teens to agencies for specific help for abuse issues as well, including physical, sexual, and emotional.Agencies such CASEY—Community Against Sexual Assault, Future Cents—pre-employment program, the YMCA, School District 57, and the PG Native Friendship Centre work with YAP collaboratively. “Girl to Girl” will be another agency collaborating with YAP. Drawing on each other’s resources, and understanding what has worked for them in developing positive adolescent identity will benefit both organizations.
Physical Space The hiking trails in PG, such as the Shane Lake Hike at UNBC, create a great opportunity for healthy living. Fresh air, exercise and celebrating the beauty of nature are natural ways to feel positive living. Exercise also prompts the body to release two important feel-good chemicals; serotonin and endorphin. Serotonin helps to naturally balance your mood and emotions and endorphins are powerful hormone-like substances.
” (Ezine Articles, 2010). Also, according to Ezine Articles (2010) endorphins encourage better sleep, reduce anxiety, and reduce feelings of depression and hopelessness. They are like natures drug to feeling better. Feeling better due to a healthier lifestyle, will lead the girls to feeling better about who they are—creating a positive identity.
Individuals A positive attitude can be contagious to those within its vicinity. The impact of individuals upon one another is a valuable tool to encouraging positive identity. Peers and mentors working with one another, building relationships will promote the healthy identity the drop-in centre is aiming for. Institutions Churches provide a variety of cultural backgrounds.
They also provide a great pool to draw from of individuals who love to help. “Girl to Girl” will have a screening process for volunteers regardless of where they come from.Churches most often do provide not only individuals who desire to help out within their community, they also provide their own programs to reach out and help. Hands on help from local churches will strengthen the centre’s core as it takes many people to make a success out of an organization with limited funding.
Local Economy Accessing local economy to help meet the goals of “Girl to Girl” will happen in numerous ways. One of those ways would be to have the local music store donate a piano and/or guitar(s) for girls to use in learning playing music.Improved skills of any kind will encourage positive self-concept. Achievement is an important tool for people to use as a measurement for how they are developing.
Relevance of Project “Girl to Girl’s” developmental perspective considers how a young girl develops a positive identity. It uses the community’s strengths and considers the challenges presented within the community to shape its goals and decisions. The developmental perspective within the Child and Youth Care field sees youth evolving over a lifespan (School of Child and Youth, 2010).We cannot fully use a developmental perspective without combining “…the ecological and strength-based perspectives to individuals and groups as developing within a social community context…” (School of Child and Youth, 2010).
“Girl to Girl” will approach the development of the girls from a strength-based perspective. Dr. Katherine C. Powell states that “…a strong sense of self is dependent on early relationships, gender differences, supportive environments, (italics added,) allowing adolescents to develop their own unique identity.
This is where I write a brief conclusion summarizing the intent of “Girl to Girl” and how it builds on community assets, and its relevance in the context of contemporary CYC practice. Transtheoretical Model of Change Without acknowledging the youth’s previous microsystem, and where they will return, it will more than likely be difficult for the youth to maintain change; therefore, working with the family, child and youth mental health community counselors (band members for example), health directors and community nurse discharge plans are established to reflect youth wellness.Working with families regarding psycho education also helps them to understand their child’s illness.
The Transtheoretical Model of Change presents change at a logical pace, involving the youth where they are at. The Engagement Model of Care embraces youth with respect and practical application to the new behaviours required for adaptation. All of these processes are woven together; one does not work independent of another; instead, they complement one another achieving the purpose of enabling a healthy adolescent lifestyle.