Girl Talk is a comprehensive program designed to help girls in middle and high schools develop leadership skills and self confidence through practical experience. Girl Talk’s mission, inspiring “all girls to be confident leaders through peer-to-peer mentoring programs,” is well supported, with upwards of 70,000 girls involved in more than 485 chapters in the U.S. and abroad.
Ximena and Chelsea became involved with Girl Talk at ODA in 2019 during their junior year. The group, facilitated by Mrs. Melinda Lloyd and Mrs. Kathy Dozier, talked about a wide variety of topics, including healthy relationships, boundary setting with friendships, how perfectionism can be toxic, and stress management. Ximena and Chelsea participated in all of the meetings and immediately saw the many benefits that the group offered.
One of the central goals of the program is to provide a framework for teenage girls to get together to learn new skills, find strength, and create a network of support.
“Some of the most helpful knowledge I've gained from the program is how to better take care of myself and the people around me,” said Ximena. “I also learned something unexpected—that so many people will always be willing to help if you need it, even if you just met them. This is something I plan to share with the Girl Talk members and also keep in mind in my own daily activities.”
Girl Talk ambassadors serve as program representatives in their community and at local Chapters, as well as within the national organization. When the chance to apply to be an ambassador arose, both students jumped at the opportunity.
Chelsea learned about the opportunity to apply to the ambassador program on the Girl Talk website. “I thought it was a really amazing opportunity to help educate more girls and to be more involved in the organization. From my experience last year, I continuously thought about how we could widen the program, and the ambassador program was the perfect opportunity for this.”
“Being an ambassador is giving me the skills needed to become a better leader and have more confidence, said Ximena. “I hope to apply these skills with the members in our club, and also help them develop the same skills that I've learned while being an ambassador.”
As ambassadors, Chelsea and Ximena will bring new ideas and actions to the program, gain experience as peer mentors, help develop community service and diversity and inclusion programs, and be a voice for high school girls throughout the U.S.
The seniors hope that by participating in the Girl Talk program, ODA will eventually offer more content on leadership and empowerment into their regular programming. Looking ahead, Chelsea has ideas for Girl Talk that extend past her senior year. “I hope that this program helps integrate more complex topics into our ODA curriculum. On a national level, it would be amazing to create something within the program that could be a permanent fixture within the Girl Talk organization.”