By Chicago Girl Talk Collective Member Kayla:
Being exposed to the environment at JTDC has increased my awareness of the need for programs such as Girl Talk. JTDC is a controlled environment which restricts many of the girl’s freedoms. Girl Talk provides the young women in JTDC an opportunity to be just that, young women. As much as can be expected while in confinement, the girls are able to be themselves. Rather than try to control the young women’s feelings, the Girl Talk collective encourages the girls to be open and creative within a safe space. As a member of the Girl Talk collective, I have been awarded the opportunity to spend time with the young women at JTDC in a relaxed setting. Growing up in the inner-city of Chicago, I am familiar with many of the experiences these young women are challenged with daily and this allows me to see the young women as something other than “delinquent”. These young women are resilient and strong and given different circumstances, and perhaps a different system to handle “delinquency”, these girls are very much capable of great things. I am grateful to be part of the Girl Talk collective and I can only hope to encourage the development of additional services, like Girl Talk, for the girls at JTDC.