Why this? Why now?
Being a teenage girl in the world today is a challenge. Attempts to retain an element of individuality are threatened on a daily basis by the media, celebrity culture, premature sexualisation, peer pressure and bullying, lack of positive, strong female role models, privacy invasion and misuse of the internet, ladette behaviour and increase in aggressive behaviour amongst girls, to name a few.
This backdrop is leading to a generation of teenage girls arriving at puberty with a full on identity crisis. Eating disorders, promiscuity and teen pregnancies, body dysmorphia, self-harming, binge-drinking and substance abuse, panic attacks and exam anxiety, are just some of the symptoms apparent in their behaviour.
Not surprisingly we now have a confused generation, disengaging from education and the world around them which leads to low aspirations, poor body image, fickle self esteem and a confused identity.
Girls Out Loud is a UK based social enterprise set up in 2009 by serial entrepreneur and inspirational speaker/coach Jane Kenyon and business woman, Ambassador for enterprise and media personality Claire Young. In 2010 they were joined by Rachel Ward Lilley a teenage champion, communications professional and mountaineer. The team have a mission to raise the aspirations of young girls between the ages of 13-18. The organisation facilitates intervention programmes in schools from one day to 12 months in duration and in 2010 we launched a nationwide mentoring programme for teenage girls called BIG SISTER which involves us recruiting and training role models from a diverse background to mentor teenage girls for a period of 12 months. The emphasis of all our activity is to embed a more empowering mindset in girls, which in turn, reconnects them to education, helps them achieve exam success and broaden their aspirations, encourages them to find their individual voice, take risks, make better life decisions, improve their self image and become role models for future generations.
To empower and inspire teenage girls in the UK and beyond to have confidence, self belief, emotional resilience and a positive self image which, in turn, supports them to think big, embrace risk and reach for the stars.
So far, the girls that have been through our programmes have more clarity on the big picture in terms of their career and place in the world; Recognise the pitfalls of teen pregnancy and no longer see this as a career option; Have higher self esteem and therefore make better choices in relation to their peer group, boyfriend, friends, family and education/career; Achieve better than expected exam results, are goal centric and have a more healthy external body image.