One in four girls will be the victim of a crime of violence before she graduates high school, according to the Center for Disease Control. For girls in the worst neighborhoods of Chicago, they make up a disproportionately high part of that terrible statistic.
Barbara Rose has been working to change that for the girls on the west and south side of Chicago. For these girls, there is little opportunity to avoid the violence of their streets without direct intervention. Rose, a Purdue graduate, volunteering to help others has been part of her life since she was in high school. She has worked with several organizations to empower women and girls. She currently serves at the chair of the Board of Directors of Girls in the Game.
Rose, who is an outspoken advocate for effective girls’ programming, believes summer camp offers a proven and effective solution to protect girls from street violence. She explains, “For the past 20 years, more than 2,000 girls have spent their summer with Girls in the Game. This summer we want to get more girls into camp. It’s not just a sports camp, although there will be plenty of sports. That is what makes the camp fun. What makes it valuable is that these girls come together with girls from over twenty different neighborhoods to learn positive ways to resolve conflict and to be a leader in their communities. As leaders, they learn how to avoid situations that can lead to violence, and they also learn to advocate for themselves if they have experienced violence.”
To move more girls off the summer camp waitlist, Rose and fellow board members have organized an online social media campaign themed “Change the Game for Chicago Girls.” Funds raised through www.girlsinthegame.org will provide additional support to allow more girls to attend these award-winning summer programs from a variety of underserved Chicago neighborhoods.
Rose explained, “The goal of the campaign is to raise $20,000 over the next two months. Girls in the Game programs teach girls about positive communication, healthy relationships, and conflict resolution in a safe, all-girl environment.”
“As a Board member, I have directly seen the positive impact that Girls in the Game programming has had on Chicago girls. When I watch these girls grow as individuals after being part of the program, it makes me work harder to get more girls this experience. It can change their lives.”
To find out more or to donate to the summer camp program, please visit: www.girlsinthegame.org/changethegame