The Mediation Center’s Rites of Passage program recently wrapped up another session in January. Rites of Passage is a gender specific program that gives young men and women the chance to learn about positive decision making. At the January graduation ceremony, the girls received mix CDs featuring tunes like Christina Agulera’s “Beautiful” and India Arie’s “I am Queen,” to keep them staying strong and positive and to help them remember what they learned through Rites of Passage. We asked our girls to give us feedback about the program, and here’s what they had to say:

“This is one place where we could just be girls and talk about the things that we go through as young women. We are not judged or looked down on, we can be free with our words and know that when we are wrong we will be corrected and directed to options that can help us through our problems.” – 17 year-old female.

“This program should be longer than twelve weeks, we need more programs like these, I have made new friends and developed long lasting relationships. It feels good to be able to be around a group of girls and have no drama. Everybody is cool and down to earth. No one acts as though they are better than the other person. The discussion topics are on point, they hit exactly on what we deal with everyday as girls in the hood, I could see myself running a session in the future.” – 15 year-old female.

“I don’t think that I have been at any other program that just keeps it real with us as young women. ROP is off the hook, we have learned more about self-esteem, personal value, CDC [choices, decision and consequences- in all aspects of our lives] in such a small space of time. Every week was something different- The Thanksgiving dinner ending up as an Etiquette Workshop that was wild, if I didn’t know whick fork to use now I do, hopefully I will remember. I know I have grown in the last twelve weeks.” – 16 year-old female.