Speak for Yourself: What Girls Say about What Girls Need

by Lynn M. Phillips

Dec 1, 2002

Girl's Best Friend Foundation (GBF) contracted with independent researchers to conduct a two-year, statewide (Illinois) research initiative to enhance the knowledge base and strategic focus of GBF's grantmaking efforts and to validate or challenge existing assumptions about girls. The information and processes used also created an opportunity for girls ages 12-18, to develop and articulate a girls' agenda in their communities. Specifically, the goals of the research were to: - Develop a greater awareness of the resources available to girls - Better understand which resources girls saw as viable and girl friendly, as unhelpful or inaccessible, or as missing altogether - Identify where/how girls come together (formally and/or informally; with peers and/or adults) and where they identify and develop their strengths - Develop an understanding of how girls support and challenge one another, strategize, and struggle to celebrate their strengths and have their voices heard - Help girls think over time about how they use (or would like to use) various resources to fortify themselves and support their aspirations.

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