To be at GRLZ Pt. 2: A Season of Survivors

“I wanted to do it because I believe in the value and beauty of stories to bring clarity, direction, and healing to our lives and paths. We often think or feel that our experiences are solely our own. That no one would understand. Or we get embarrassed and feel that we could never ask for advice or seek help from others because ‘surely no one has ever done this or been through this thing.’ But we are wrong! And after a conversation with a program participant where she said to me ‘I really feel like if my mom could have been honest with me about things she has been through, I wouldn’t have made some of the mistakes I made in my own life’ I really felt super urgent about the sharing of stories with the girls from women who have overcome challenges and difficulties to inspire hope in the lives of the girls in our program.”

-Saun Green, Program Director

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Adanma Ude. Monique Clarke. Taira Harrison. Brandi Swain Price. Ki Perry Cooney. Bernadine, Yasmin, and Agostinha. Serina Gousby. Sally Nguyen. Nikki Searcy-Lamisere. Diamond McMillion Williams. Linette Bullock. 

This past summer, we have had the distinct pleasure of welcoming thirteen extraordinary women who’ve experienced the unspeakable, yet have found the strength to tell their stories and relay their remarkable wisdom to our GRLZ. We have heard stories of love, heartbreak, violation, abuse, family passed on, betrayal, and much much more. That said, It also took great strength on the part of our young ladies to be exposed to others’ daunting realities. So, we asked the GRLZ how they felt about our survivors this summer, and this is what they had to say:

“Having speakers come and share their stories was an amazing experience. It was inspiring to be able to hear someone’s story and relate it to your own life. They really taught us a lot about strength and making a way out of no way.”

-Olivia W., Social Media Group Participant

“I loved having people to relate to and just hearing about different people’s experiences because it made life feel more relatable or appreciate your life a little more.”

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-Ernestasia E., Social Media Group Participant

“The survivor speakers were so inspiring, and were so real. I was most excited to hear a new speaker every week because I would always ask Saun, ‘who’s coming this week?’ Most of these speakers gave me an understanding of how to overcome problems…and how to just be a strong woman! They were just so awesome.”

-Vanessa M., Social Media Group Participant

“I really liked how they shared their stories and made us engage with them. Sometimes I felt as if I had been there with them when it happened.”

-Rachel G., Peer Leader

“I actually liked it. I learned that sometimes you can go through hard stuff, but that doesn’t define you or determine your future.”

-Jomelly M., Peer Leader

“I liked the concept of hearing different stories from different women about their struggles and how it didn’t stop them from succeeding in the future.”

-Sarah Hayek, Blog Group Participant

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Glowing reviews from our GRLZ! They learned so much. Above all, they learned that you don’t give up because something bad happens in your life. You keep going and determine your own path. From the whole of GRLZradio, I want to thank every one of our speakers for inspiring us beyond imagining. Your struggles only made you more strong and more beautiful! Thank you for sharing your strength and beauty with us.

Tekeisha Meade