Apr 25, 2014
Victoria Timmons '17, Allied Health
Maria Slovikovski '17, Public Relations
Girl Talk is one of three mentoring groups that make up Girls Club. We are a group of female Otterbein students who volunteer as mentors for middle-school girls. The mentors travel to Walnut Spring Middle School on Thursday mornings from 10-10:50 a.m. during the sixth-grade girls’ lunch period.
The middle-school students are selected by their counselors, if they show signs of being bullied or having other life issues. We strive to be positive role models to these girls who are going through a pivotal point in their lives.
Each sixth-grade girl is paired up with an Otterbein mentor for the semester. The goal is to connect the girls with an Otterbein student who shares interests and personality traits with them, and who will be able to connect with them in order to best impact the girls’ lives for the better.
Girls Club is driven to focus on things such as standing up against bullying, being confident in who you are, becoming a unique leader and many other major lessons that are important in the lives of our young girls. Our mentors and protégés have equally shown great joy and growth out of the program.
Being Wonder Women: Superheroes of Social Change
Apr 17, 2014
by Kim Hutcheson '16
Founder of Chick Chat
On Tuesday, April 8, Otterbein University middle-school mentors loaded a van with doughnuts, juice and volunteers and headed over to Walnut Springs Middle School in Westerville to launch the student-created, anti-bullying campaign.
Otterbein’s relationship with Walnut Springs Middle School began in 2011, when Otterbein’s Center for Community Engagement created a weekly service program in which university students volunteered their time each week to travel to the school and mentor middle school girls on topics such as bullying, gossip, rumors and friendship. Since the creation of the sixth-grade program, now called Girl Talk, two more programs have been created for seventh- and eighth-graders, Chick Chat and GARA (Girls Are Really Awesome).
Mentors for each grade prepare lesson plans for each week with activities, and give the girls a chance to reflect on what they have learned and how to apply it in their journals. Every year, the girls from all three grades come to Otterbein’s campus for a field trip. This year, the Girl Day theme was Being Wonder Women: Superheroes of Social Change.
Bullying is a problem that has been constantly increasing over the past few years, and Walnut Springs is not immune to this problem. The mentors got the idea to bring the girls to campus, teach them about bullying—what it is, why it exists and how to prevent it or stop it—and also teach them what a campaign is and how to create a successful one. The girls took their new-found knowledge and created their own superhero-themed, anti-bullying campaign to promote in their school.
The girls created posters of themselves as superheroes that included reasons why they are a superhero when it comes to preventing bullying. It took a while to print out all the posters and two 15-foot banners, and create a promotional video featuring the middle school girls. By the first week in April, everything was ready and so were the girls. The posters are now hung proudly around the school in hopes of creating a more positive attitude toward one another.
As mentors, we will continue to meet with the girls and continue to teach them about what it means to stand up to bullying. Hopefully, we will see a change for the better at Walnut Springs Middle School.
Sisters in Leadership (SIL): Where We Came From, Who We Are
Apr 10, 2014
By Hannah Ewald, Co-Founder
I guess you could say that the name “just came to us,” but when Kate and I had the idea of the SIL program, we didn’t have to think twice about its necessity. After each having the pleasure of taking President Krendl’s Women in Leadership FYS class, we knew we wanted to continue with our knowledge, our leadership, and most of all, our passion for women empowerment. So thus, we created Sisters in Leadership.
As freshmen in President Krendl’s class, we were individually matched with women leaders of the Columbus area who would serve as our mentors. For some in our class, the relationship blossomed. For others, not so much. Kate and I decided that we would have benefited more if we had had a mentor that was closer in age and had more recent experience with a college campus. This is how we based the formation of the program. We decided that each girl who had taken the FYS class would serve as a mentor to the girls who were currently enrolled in the class. This way, the protégé, or the little sister, has someone who they can reach on campus about anything. Whether it be the everyday stresses we face in college, the struggles we face being women in leadership positions, or striving to find a stronger and more powerful voice on campus, we wanted the women to feel comfortable confiding in their match.
Kate and I had a vision for empowerment. We wanted the girls younger than us to feel the same way we did when we finished President Krendl’s class. We wanted the girls to have no doubt in their mind that they could make a difference, their voice would be heard, and they had extreme potential. The SIL program was created with the intent of creating new relationships on campus that encompassed safety, comfort and support.
Since we have been a full-fledged organization, we have participated in a variety of events. Last year, we had a Relay for Life team; we attended the Women’s Fund of Central Ohio Keyholder event, which featured America Ferrera last year, and will feature Ashley Judd this year; we volunteered at the community garden, we bonded, we ate delicious food, and we laughed in each others’ company. The beauty of this organization is that it eliminates the requirement of strict attendance and demanding hours. Rather than mandating weekly meetings and assignments, we encourage mentors and protégés to keep in touch with each other on their own time. Some meet for coffee, others attend events together, and some matches are in sororities together. Everyone has the chance to chat about life and stresses. Also, while we volunteer around campus and within Columbus, we strive to attend workshops and events that open our eyes to new ways of thinking and leadership, empowering stories that push us to become greater leaders and to continually believe in ourselves while encouraging those around us not to doubt their abilities.
We hope that the Sisters in Leadership program will grow into something legendary. A sense of pride in uniting sisters and encouraging the strong voice women have on this campus. We hope that we continue to make a difference on and off campus, and that through our advocacy, our volunteer work and our support for each other, we strive for sisterhood, unity and equality.
Apr 02, 2014
Welcome to the brand-new blog for the Women's Leadership Network (the NET)! Here, you will find the stories and happenings of the girls' groups hosted at Otterbein. You will hear from Sisters in Leadership, Girl Talk, GARA (Girls Are Really Awesome), Chick Chat and Wonder Women for Change. The leaders of these groups look forward to sharing what their groups are doing - what they are talking about, what they are engaging in, and what their plans are for the future.
Stay engaged, and get connected with women and girls who are making a difference toward the common good. Tune in to the NET!