Empowerment & Leadership

Joleena’s senior year isn’t what she expected, but she is staying motivated

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Joleena is a Girls Inc. girl from Indianapolis, Indiana, and a member of the Teen Advocacy Council of Girls Inc. In her own words, Joleena shares how her world has changed during the pandemic and how she is resolved to move forward.  

So many individuals are facing such harsh realities such as loss of family members, losing jobs, and mental health issues and my heart goes out to those who don’t have the proper resources to live comfortably through this pandemic or have faced immense loss due to it. I’ve been struggling with frustration because graduation and prom have been cancelled. My trips planned with Girls Inc. have been cancelled. I had a senior trip planned with my school that got cancelled. That was really sad to learn that we couldn’t go. But I am taking care of myself by working and trying to stay motivated.  

Girls Inc. Supports During COVID-19

While we’re not able to meet in person, I continue to take part in the Young Women in Leadership at my local Girls Inc. and also participate in the Teen Advocacy Council at the national level. 

Girls Inc. of Greater Indianapolis has been keeping in touch with girls through emails and monthly newsletters. We are continuing with our monthly meetings through Zoom/Skype. Personally, I’ve been able to talk with my Girls Inc. mentors over the phone. I really appreciate them being available for girls, at any time, for help or assistance we may need. In addition to just checking in on me, we talked about my future decisions, since I will be graduating in a few months and will need to commit to a college. 

What Now and What’s Next

I am determined to not misuse this time at home. I don’t want to look back and regret the impact I could have made for myself or my community. I see this virus as a disaster but also an opportunity. I believe in the systems that our country has in place, and recognize that I am fortunate to live here. Still, this pandemic has shown a light on the vulnerabilities of our country and what together we need to work on.

Girls Inc. is proud to share Joleena’s perspective and to continue to find ways to support her – and all girls – during these new and unforeseen circumstances. 

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