Teen Leadership Program Empowers Macon Teens to Make Positive Choices

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Teenagers in Macon are gaining valuable insights into the significance of their choices, thanks to the efforts of the Girls Dig Deeper Initiative (GDDI) in collaboration with the Middle Georgia Regional Library’s Teen Advisory Board.

Led by Najiva Timothee from GDDI, teenagers aged 13-17 gathered at a recent meeting to discuss the importance of choices in their lives. Ms. Timothee encouraged the teens to contemplate the impact of their decisions and how they can shape their futures positively.

During the session, participants shared their experiences and perspectives on making choices, emphasizing the freedom and power that come with decision-making. They discussed various aspects, including the ability to control their lives, pursue their potential, and learn from past mistakes.

Stella Blankenship, a 7th-grade student, highlighted the importance of prioritizing personal decisions over external opinions, while 10th-grade student JaNyla Holston emphasized focusing on what one can control.

Ms. Timothee stressed the significance of learning from mistakes and moving forward, asserting that one’s choices define them. The discussion also touched on practical choices faced by teens, such as selecting educational paths and career goals.

Nadia Thomas, an 11th-grade student and member of GDDI, encouraged peers to surround themselves with supportive individuals who share their aspirations for success.

The Girls Dig Deeper Initiative has been supported by Macon Violence Prevention with a grant totaling $15,500, aimed at offering leadership development programs for young girls. These programs aim to address various challenges faced by teenagers, including poverty, absenteeism, academic struggles, disabilities, adverse childhood experiences, and community violence.

The initiative reflects a commitment to empowering teenagers with the tools and insights needed to navigate life’s choices and build brighter futures for themselves and their communities.

About Girls Dig Deeper Initiative
Girls Dig Deeper Initiative is a girls group mentoring and youth development program in Central Georgia which serve youth in schools and communities, and incarcerated youth ages 13-17. They provide 1:1, group, and a team model mentoring approach within the organization.

Their mission is to foster guidance, support, and encouragement to all youth girls to dig deep within themselves to access their inner potential and expand their capacity to be a positive influence to themselves and others.

Girls Dig Deeper Initiative launched its leadership development program, The Winners’ Mindset, in January to teach youth girls to rise up and win regardless of the challenges they face.

About the Macon Violence Prevention Program
Macon Violence Prevention is an evidence-based, multifaceted program created to address public safety in Macon-Bibb County. Supported and funded by the consolidated government, MVP is a community-wide effort that brings together elected officials, community leaders and representatives from more than 20 agencies, organizations and departments.

The MVP program operates under the guidance of the MVP Strategic Plan, which was created in June of 2021 by community stakeholders and violent crime experts. The plan combines data and research with community feedback to identify and implement proven solutions that reduce violent crime and strengthen the community over time.

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