The Rebecca Project’s Leadership and Mentoring program via Arts integration, was created in the Summer of 2009 for teenage girls in DC, MD and VA to coach, educate, and motivate teenage girls to seek and accept agency to empower themselves to become leaders.
This program was implemented to help avert high rates of STD HIV/AIDS
infections, teenage pregnancy and, consequently, lower academic
achievement in Washington, DC. In our program, the core concepts of
leadership, by integrating arts and motivational speakers, are
incorporated in our girl leadership workshops to include the following:
Connecting and building relationships with other girls and adults.
Introducing girls to college opportunities and careers.
Learning assertiveness and avoiding aggressive or passive behavior.
Learning body language and listening skills for better communication.
Reclaiming voice and tradition dictated by males.
In our program’s four to six week summer workshops, girls explore
themes of empowerment, leadership and personal responsibility through
innovative art workshops. The expected outcomes are increased personal
development, self-empowerment and self-esteem; and girls develop a
strong sense of self, gain practical and healthy life skills and
strengthen values to give them a sense of hope and possibilities.
LEADERSHIP AND MENTORING GOALS
Averting adolescent pregnancy by incorporating the participation of
parents and health experts in leadership workshops is a central goal of
the leadership program. This will encourage communication and factual
information about pregnancy, HIV/AIDS, sexually transmitted diseases
and sexuality. The goal is to build skills for saying no to sex at an
early age and never having sex without adequate protection. The
consequences of early pregnancies will be discussed as a practical
issue related to poverty and not achieving a higher education.
Furthermore, girls at risk are encouraged to accept mentoring from
staff and other volunteers through the academic year.
In 2009, dance was the integrated art form incorporated in our
summer leadership workshop. Girls improved their abilities as dancers
and learned to articulate original ideas as leaders in a variety of
creative forms. The 2009 summer workshop was coordinated by Binahkaye
Joy, an amazing gifted dancer and Artistic Director of the mobile dance
laboratory, JOYISM (www.osadance.blogspot.com ) in Washington, DC.
Headquarters: 2644 Club Valley Drive NE, Marietta GA 30068