You’ve seen it in the media. You’ve talked about it with other parents. And sometimes your own daughter will open up and talk about it. It goes by a lot of names – cyberbullying…power cliques…and mean girls (they even made a movie about that). The point is, growing up is tough…and a lot of girls feel powerless.

What can we do, as parents, to help our daughters deal with the pressures that life throws at them? And what can we do, as committed volunteers, to addressing the wider needs in our communities?

Well, members of the Junior League of Rochester thought about it, and they came up with a workshop program called GIRLSrock! that takes the problem apart, examines its individual pieces, and puts them back together again in a way that makes sense to teenage girls.

It starts with a simple premise: All young women should have access to the tools necessary for a bright future. It surrounds that premise with a year-long program that addresses head-on the challenges that girls face, in school and out, as they grow up.

GIRLSrock!…the Bank addresses daily financial issues through a personal finance workshop designed to teach girls about budgeting and responsible use of credit through both presentations and games using the concepts.

GIRLSrock!…the Body addresses young women’s self-esteem and body image issues through a fitness workshop designed to give girls the tools to evaluate their health and ideas about how to make healthy lifestyle choices. Included are sessions on cardiovascular fitness, strength training and yoga, as well as ways to measure baseline fitness parameters.

GIRLSrock!…the Defense addresses the statistics of violence against young women and is designed to provide girls with tools for confidence and personal safety. Workshop topics include self-defense, self-image, and internet safety.

GIRLSrock!…the Job addresses lack of preparation for the job market and college through a career workshop designed to educate girls to be successful and confident jobseekers. Included are workshop sessions exploring interesting careers, interview etiquette and the projection of positive image through attire.

GIRLSrock!…the Kitchen addresses the issue of childhood obesity and is a hands-on cooking workshop designed to encourage girls to make healthy eating choices. Workshop topics include identifying portion size, making healthy snacks, eating fruits and vegetables and including whole grains.

Great idea. Great program. Great results.

You can help. JLR is accepting donations to support GIRLSrock. And you can find out how to put this program to work in your own community. For more information contact GIRLSrock! by email at, or call (585) 385-8590.

Because you can make a difference!