I remember the day I found out about the Justice for Girls Internship opportunity. I didn’t think I’d have a shot at being hired, but I was so excited about the organization and the possibility of becoming a part of it that I tried anyway. To my surprise, I landed a spot on the Girls' Advocacy & Education Center project team. It was the first job I had had in over four years, and it meant the world to me. As I began to become more involved in the Internship, I started to grow as a person. I felt my voice being heard and my words moving people.
When I was abused and entered the court system as a young teenager, I was alone. I was alone in my addictions and in all of the abuse that followed. It’s easy to feel like you have no worth when you’re a young girl who is being poked and prodded, stuffed full of unnecessary medications, and passed along from psychiatrist to psychiatrist. Becoming a part of Justice For Girls made me realize I could have been saved from so much damage if only there had been enough support, enough resources and enough people who believe that my voice matters.
This is what I love about Justice For Girls: their social justice perspective, their ability to trust and support young women who are feeling the most hopeless. Over the past few months, I have been educated on my rights, the rights of the young women around me, and what can be done to help us work through all of the systems that dangle us by strings like puppets. The organization has helped me learn that the best way to help youth is to listen to the words they say.
I’m proud of being an intern with Justice for Girls. I’m proud of myself for turning my life around and I want other young women and girls to feel this pride too.