Girls to Empowered Teens (GET)

Mission:

The mission of the Girls to Empowered Teens (GET) program is to empower middle school girls to make healthy choices through education, the use of college women as mentors, and skill building in sports/fitness and communication in an effort to enhance self esteem, build social support and self efficacy and improve overall health.

Program Information:

The newest program offered on campus, GET held its inaugural session in fall 2012 with the help of a grant funding. In this free program, participants and mentors in GET meet once a week over eight weeks for 90 minutes on Elon University’s campus. Each session includes one-on-one mentor time, sport/ fitness skill training and health education. Educational topics include:

  • GET Fit - The importance of physical activity
  • GET Smart - Nutrition education (two sessions here)
  • GET Real - Body Image and the media
  • GET Kind – Dealing with bullying and teasing; supporting other girls
  • GET Involved - Overcoming the bystander effect, handling peer pressure
  • GET Talking - Communication skills
  • GET Ahead - Goal setting for the future

Education sessions are coordinated by an Elon faculty member and include small group discussions, led by student facilitators, to deepen the participants’ understanding of the information and to foster greater sharing among the girls. Supplemental information, along with suggested questions to facilitate further discussion at home is shared with parents each week as well. Physical activity options available each week to the participants include Krav Maga (a form of martial arts), Zumba, yoga and various sports skills training.

“She learned how important exercise is and that it can be fun. Also, to feel good about herself and to be comfortable with who she is and to believe in herself.” – Parent

 “I play outside more.” –Participant

The final component of GET is the mentors. Elon female students, who volunteer to participate as mentors, undergo training before the first GET session, and select mentors receive further instruction in the educational materials to become small group facilitators.

“Middle school is a tough time where girls can be judgmental and mean. I helped my mentee learn from these situations and suggested ways as to how she could respond – it helped me with my own personal conflicts.” - Mentor

Relationships with mentors, either assigned or naturally occurring, have been associated with lower levels of depression and anxiety, better communication skills and improved self-esteem in adolescents (Rhodes, Grossan, and Resch, 2000), which is why this component is so important to the success of the program. Data collected from participants in GET suggests that the combination of mentorship, health education programming, and physical activity results in increases in self-esteem, body satisfaction and more healthful attitudes towards appearance from pre to post participation. If these outcomes can be maintained as the girls enter high school, potentially they will positively impact decisions around future health behaviors, lowering the incidence of obesity, eating disorders and even negative behaviors like smoking and bullying.

“I felt like I could talk to my mentor about anything.” -Participant

DATES for 2017 Session:

Registration Opens:
August 30th
Mentor Training:
September 14th, 4pm (Place: TBA; Contact Liz Bailey at ebailey@elon.edu)
Mandatory Orientation for Parents, Participants and Mentors:
September 21st, 4pm (Place: TBA; Parents contact Liz Bailey at ebailey@elon.edu or 336-278-5862 to REGISTER)
GET sessions:

Sept. 28th, Oct 3*, 12, 19, 26, and Nov 2nd
*We are running one day on Tuesday because Convocation is Oct. 5th.
6 weeks for GET program
.

All sessions run from 4-5:30pm and are held on the field behind the Koury Athletic Center on the campus of Elon University.

Forms: Available in early September 2017