Students transitioning from middle to high school often can’t wait to enter the other half of the campus and finally begin their high school experience. At the same time, they feel terrified as it is a new and mysterious chapter of their lives. That fear is why Valentina, ‘18, started Girl Talk. She enlisted a group of willing upperclassmen to assist young girls in making their transition as smooth as possible.
Girl Talk is a global organization with an initiative to help young girls deal with the ‘triumphs and trials of the early teenage years,’ as displayed on the official website.
Also featured on the website reads the quote, “many lives are impacted when one influences a woman… especially a young woman.” This encapsulates the vision set forth by Valentina and her fellow Girl Talk members, as they attempt to mentor middle schoolers to help them better understand the issues they face. Meetings tackle a range of subjects from mild confrontations to larger underlying issues, such as body image or cyberbullying.
When Sophia, ‘18, was in middle school, she “had some things that I wished I could have talked to someone about but didn’t have that opportunity.” This is why she joined Girl Talk, as she wants younger girls to “not feel as isolated with their problems as I did, and know that they are not alone in their experiences and that there is always a solution.”
The activity is an outlet for those who feel they don’t have anyone to talk to or listen without judgement. Clara mentions, “sometimes girls think a problem they have may be insignificant, but we understand how something that seems small may become a bigger problem and want to help. Girls should have confidence going into highschool, and I want to ensure that they are never afraid and always have someone to talk to.”
Not only is Girl Talk a positive influence for younger girls, it also provides as a learning opportunity for the older leaders. Valentina notices through her weekly sessions that she often will “come to conclusions that you yourself had never considered even though you had lived through them.” Sophia reaffirms this, “we learn different perspectives on how to confront issues faced by girls every day. I know I learn just as much from the girls I mentor as they hopefully learn from me.”
Valentina is enthusiastic about the warm and positive energy surrounding Girl Talk, as “I get to see young girls who perhaps are less vocal or more reserved slowly grow more comfortable and flourish into beautiful people that will go far in life.” Although initial membership has been slow with only three members from middle school signing up, she remains hopeful that more will begin to see the benefits of the club.
Sophia feels that many may be intimidated by older girls, or are perhaps embarrassed to talk about their issues. She stresses that the environment is safe and supportive, as every ‘big sister’ watches out for their ‘little sisters’ to make sure they are getting the best advice for their problems. She feels as if more middle schoolers should become involved, as “middle and high school girls finally have a safe space where they can connect and learn from each other, and that is a unique opportunity that is too good to pass up.”