Blueprint Conference for Girls had another successful weekend for the 9th year in a row. About 200 girls were in attendnce. The Blueprint Conference for Girls is an annual two-day conference for middle school and high school girls sponsored by the Boston Area Chapter, National Alumnae Association of Spelman College.
I conducted the SELF ESTEEM workshop. This year, we focused on why Black Girls Matter. We did a case study of the pool party child abuse situation in McKinney TX. The girls used critical thinking skills to discuss and break down the media's portrayal of the situation, as well as break down systemic racism. The young girls were highly intelligent beyond their years in their understanding and analysis.
Listen in to this radio talk show to hear Karla Romero adress the McKinney TX child abuse situation https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NC3DtIWfY8I
Our charity feeds, and clothes 7,000 people a month in Massachusetts with free top shelf organic food, and free high end designer clothing.
We are so lucky to have Hershel and Mila Levin on board with our FOOD RESCUE program. They have been volunteering for about 7 years with us. Our program is expanding, which means more food for Massachusetts families in need! Mila secured the donation of this new shed.
Hershel, Mila, Tom, and Alice set out at 8am on Saturday morning to get the storage bin. They broke it down, did extensive cleaning of it, transported it to our head quarters, reassembled it, and cleaned it again for good measure. The project was finished by 5pm. Also, a special thanks to David Gaboury from our newest distribution food pantrty site in Eastern Massachusetts, for clearing the spot of the old bin on Friday, to make way for this new one.
I hosted a workshop on TEEN DATING VIOLENCE, and we had a break through for a 19 year old girl . Please share this with young women in relationships. Knowledge is power!
What Are the Early Warning Signs of Teen Dating Violence?
Researchers who study teen dating violence have identified several early warning signs that a dating relationship might be likely to turn violent. These warning signs do not mean a relationship will definitely turn violent. However, if you notice several of them in your relationship or partner, you may need to reevaluate your dating relationship.
These warning signs include:
Constant checking in with you or making you check in with him or her.
Attempts to isolate you from friends and family.
Insulting or putting down people that you care about.
Is too serious about the relationship too quickly.
Has had a lot of bad prior relationships - and blames all of the problems
on the previous partners.
Is very controlling. This may include giving you orders, telling you what to
wear, and trying to make all of the decisions for you.
Blames you when he or she treats you badly by telling you all of the ways
you provoked him or her.
Does not take responsibility for own actions.
Has an explosive temper (“blows up” a lot).
Pressures you into sexual activity with which you are not comfortable.
Has a history of fighting, hurting animals, or brags about mistreating other
Believes strongly in stereotypical gender roles for males and females.
You worry about how your partner will react to the things you say or you
are afraid of provoking your partner.
Owns or uses weapons.
Refuses to let you to end the relationship.
What can you do if you notice these signs in your relationship?
Trust your intuition! If you believe there may be a problem in your
relationship, you are probably right. Do not ignore the warning signs.
Research has found that those who have a tendency to engage in
relationship violence escalate their abuse over time. In other words, it gets
worse over time, not better.
Spend time with people you care about other than your partner. Stay in
touch with your friends.
Keep up with activities that you enjoy and that make you feel good about
You might consider looking into what help or resources might be available
in your school or area. You might also want to consider calling a domestic
violence hotline or shelter for more information before you experience a
Today is the 107th annual Interational Women's Day. March is Women's History Month, April is Child Abuse Awareness Month, and May is National Foster Care Awareness Month. In spreading awareness on all 4 highlights, we offer the blogs of two survivors of abuse and neglect, immigrant girls, who speak from life experience. They are speaking as empowerd young women in the spirit of educating others. We asked the following questions of 2 teen girls experiencing foster care in Massachusetts via illegal immigration.
Meet Salma age 19 via Guatemala, and Isabella age 16 via Brazil.
How did going through foster care affect your life?
Based on your experience, do you think foster care should change?
Before I was placed in fostercare, my life was horrible all the time. I was sad and constantly crying. I though that I did not have a future, but now I am happy and I know I have a future.
Foster care should not be changed because all of the services help many chilren who need someone who can protect them and love them.
I would say to a girl facing foster care to be happy, and I would wish her good luck. Foster care is not that bad, it provides someone who is going to love you and take care of you.
A 30 day mental health program influenced me when my father was put in jail, and my social worker told me that I was going to foster care.
My best memory of foster care is when I had my first Christmas feeling happy, where no one could hurt me. My worst memory is before foster care when I was abused by my father as a teen, and from another man as a little girl.
It is important that a foster home only has a woman, and no man to keep girls who have been abused by a man safe. It is important for there to be girls who can feel each other's pain, who experienced the same abuse so they can relate to one another. I like to get to know the other girls and listen to their story, and give her support so that she knows she is not alone. She is not the only one who suffered.
A foster home affects my life because now I'm not with my family anymore. I would rather live with my family than be somewhere without them.
My foster home is pretty good the way it is, but I believe that foster care should give kids more freedom so they're comfortable where they are.
I would like to tell other foster kids to keep your head up, and be strong because sometimes it can be rough, but remain positive.
My influences in foster care are my brother and my sister for the most part. They're always there for me to give me advice, and keep me going.
My best memory in foster care was getting a job, and going to my ged program. My worst memory of foster care is being away from my family and friends.
An issue for foster care is that no child should be taken away from any family unless it is a choice of the child. I think children should have more say in where they want to be for the rest of their lives, instead of being placed somewhere against their will. I believe children in fostercare should have more freedom and more say in things that will be done and stuff.
Matthew 25:35 New International Version (NIV)
35" For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in,"
Our volunteers worked very hard to get groceries to seniors, and families before the next big storm. We have built a strong cross cultural family of volunteers to take the lead in eradicating hunger in our communities. Here are a few thoughts from the family of volunteers: