Lily – An Adolescent Role Model for Generations Young and Old

July 21, 2009 at 7:37 pm Leave a comment

I don’t know about you, but when I attend a training, sometimes my initial plan is to slide through the day without investing too much energy.  I want to gain the maximum credit, but hold back on giving it my all.  Not Lily.

Last week 51 women, 2 men, and one young woman named Lily attended the Girls Circle Facilitator Training in Sonoma County.  Lily will begin her senior year of high school in September in the East Bay.  She and her mother Cathy, a nurse and therapist, attended together, and Lily aims to facilitate Girls Circle groups for middle school girls in her community.

When Lily was about 10 years old, Cathy facilitated a girls’ group for Lily and several other girls.  Now, Lily is an intelligent, articulate, and most
of all, brave young woman preparing to make a difference for younger girls.

I was struck by something Lily did during our training.  At the end of a group practice session, when participants were describing their experience with
a group discussion model that is part of Girls Circle, Lily spoke up.  She talked about facilitating her topic with her group members.  They were a diverse group and included 1 man and 4 other women, all service providers whose ages were at least twice her age or more, representing varied ethnic and geographic backgrounds, with many years of experience in their professions.

Lily said that she discovered that age, culture, gender and geographic differences were not barriers in this discussion, and that she was able to find out a lot about her group in a short amount of time.  She believed that the approach was helpful in creating connections, and applicable to the work she plans to do with school girls.  She was comfortable with the group and confident in her skill building.

I believe that Lily’s example is huge.  She came to the training to learn to facilitate Girls Circle.  In the process, she was willing to invest her energy, take risks to try new skills, gain and share feedback, and practice with a group much older than her own peers.  This fact did not deter Lily.  She took on the challenge with grace, a smile, and willingness, and for this she gained experience and discoveries about a diverse group of people and her own capacities.

Congratulations, Lily, and best wishes with your Girls Circle group.  I am sure you will be a wonderful role model for the girls, as you have been to me and the participants of our training!



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