A fundamental component of MSK has been to teach girls the importance of social justice and activism through community engagement. Since 2015, girls in the program have initiated a project to raise awareness about a youth or societal issue. They have tackled bullying, child sex trafficking, created Care Closets for at-risk youth in schools, and drafted their own legislation to decriminalize petty theft by homeless youth.
Research indicates that today's teens are facing issues that no previous generation has ever seen. And, while some of the issues are not exactly new, social media has changed AND amplified many of the struggles young people face. This is especially true for youth of color who, in addition to the "normal youth challenges," must also overcome frequent misrepresentation in the media, and under-representation by the media unless a crime is committed.
"The more we increase the active participation and partnership with young people,the better we serve them..."
Over the years, our program participants have toured community service agencies, our directors have brought countless organizations and agencies to the table to dialogue with the girls. Participants learn first hand what services are offered in their community, and more importantly, they learn why those services must exist. Each cohort of girls selects one agency, or issue, and then they create, develop, and implement an action project to raise awareness of the issue. The MSK program is unique among girls programs in middle Georgia. We've developed a civic engagement curriculum for middle and high school girls that cultivates character, develops leaders, and inspires service. Our girls will lead change in their homes, schools, community, and state.
This year, girls have identified another list of issues to champion, and we are soliciting your help in making our selection. Please take a moment to select what you believe is the most important youth challenge facing our community. Then, list a local organization, or individual, who is working to address the issue so that we can invite them to our Community Conversation in January. We're looking forward to another great year of impact through service! Here's to a new year filled with #blackgirlslivingonpurpose