Harris Center Teen Mentor Program
| Teen Mentors: (from left) Laura Jacobs, Callie McLaughlin, Katy Tucker
Our Teen Mentor Program offers adolescent girls the opportunity to learn the best ways to promote positive self-image. In meetings with our staff, the girls discuss sources of stress in their schools – such as bullying and pressure to achieve at the top level – that may dampen self-esteem. Then they create outreach and advocacy projects to address these issues; through this process, they strengthen their leadership skills.
Under the guidance of Teen Mentor Program Director Heather Thompson-Brenner, Ph.D., and Meera Krishna, B.A., our 2011-2012 students conducted outstanding advocacy projects. For example, Katy Tucker organized a panel discussion of high school students that focused on what steps could be taken to foster self-confidence and strong sense of self. This event, which took place on May 15, 2012, attracted a lively audience of students and parents.
In addition to developing eating disorder awareness projects in their schools, our Teen Mentors attend our Annual Public Forums and participate in a group discussion with our featured speakers. During their meetings with Vogue Italia Editor-in-Chief Franca Sozzani and supermodel Doutzen Kroes, our students exchanged ideas with these celebrities about the importance of promoting positive media images across our society.
Our Teen Mentors have offered terrific feedback about the Program:
Our Teen Mentor Program has grown in popularity and we anticipate that it will become a model program. We are thrilled that parents have expressed interest in setting up the Teen Mentor Program in other parts of the state.
- "Even though none of us knew each other coming in, it was easy to know each other quickly because we were all there for the same thing, and that was a lot of fun." [Sam, age 13]
- "We are not perfect. None of us. The mentor group was a breath of fresh air for me because I could be honest about my fears, worries, and experiences. I felt it was a safe place for me to talk. That was amazing." [Melissa, age 18]
- "The Teen Mentor program has given me the power and the tools to attack the lifelong damage that can be caused when girls hate their bodies." [Laura, age 17]
Led by Jennifer Rathbun, M.D., Director, and Emily Gray, M.D. our 2012-2013 Teen Mentor group is off to a tremendous start!
Please stay tuned for further information about this exciting program.
Don’t miss Teens Mentoring Teens (by Dr. David Herzog), which is published in the “Impact” section of The Huffington Post.
Photograph by Roger Farrington.
This page was last updated on September 8, 2012.