Girls Circles Empower Youth


Columbus Alternative High School students participating in a Girls Circle 

On a recent rainy, spring afternoon, three female students from our After School Learning Center painted small figurines which symbolized their inner-strength during The Girl Circle Project, which runs every Monday afternoon.

Group facilitators, Jen and Meredith, two Ohio State University mentors, quietly encouraged and engaged the girls in conversation as they shared tubes of paint.  Jen and Meredith and other female college peers run Girls Circles with middle or high school-aged girls in Columbus-area schools and agencies.  This unique opportunity gives college women the opportunity to make a difference in their community as they grow, learn, and challenge themselves.  Through the program, they’re able to assist young girls in dealing with societal issues while also empowering them and helping them realize how important it is for them to become successful, strong women in our society.

Jen shared, “Once the girls became comfortable with us, they started to open up to us and we could tell that they were enjoying themselves.”

Each circle begins with an opening check-in, followed by a craft activity and discussion, and a closing where the girls share with the group something for which they are thankful.  These structured groups can center on relationships with peers, family members, or mind and body issues.  Recently the girls talked about managing stress in their lives and learned some yoga stretches to help with relaxation.

“We found out early on that the weekly craft project helped bring the girls out of their shells,” shares Meredith. “And they really like the yoga.”

The main purpose of Girls Circle is to provide a safe space for adolescent and teenage girls to engage in discussion, decision-making skills and critical thinking.  Click here for more information or to get involved.

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