Sisters Circle Mentorship Helps Middle School Girls Find Their Voice and Vision
For students in underserved communities, the middle school years can be seen as the “exit ramp” off the proverbial pathway to a successful future.
At Sisters Circle, a nonprofit based in Baltimore, Md., students often come with a “suitcase of broken promises” where trust has been tested and many have endured the harshest of life circumstances. Some have witnessed older brothers shot in daylight. Sixty-five percent become caregivers sometimes to parents, aging grandparents and/or siblings. Several are daughters of moms who became mothers at age 13. Others barely know their father except behind bars. Some resolve disagreements with peers through violence.
Through Sisters Circles’ one-to-one mentoring match program, 80 middle grades students will discover they have a voice and they can realize a vision that includes high school graduation, college and career or alternative productive pathways.
Sisters Circle addresses the physical, social and emotional and academic changes these young girls face during adolescence through trained middle school mentors who teach and model social and emotional learning (SEL)-based strategies.
Thoughtful matches provide students a caring adult they can count on – not just for a day but long term. Some program graduates return to pay it forward. Students are safely supported in a web of mentors, teachers, guidance counselors, family members, staff and community partners. They are exposed to academic enrichment; summer camps that test their comfort zone; role playing on conflict resolution; field trips to healthy options grocery stores; and Girl Talk sessions where vulnerability is embraced.
Thanks to Sisters Circle, these girls — often prey to urban risk factors such as teen pregnancy, school dropout, and drugs/alcohol abuse — instead find their footing to confidently navigate through major life transitions and move forward with voice and vision.
For more information: www.sisterscircle.org
Photo credit: Sisters Circle
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All Points North Foundation
All Points North Foundation provides grants for U.S.-based projects and initiatives that support our priorities: improving public middle school education and teacher training, and implementing effective solar programs and/or projects.
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