In 2009 the Women's Fund of Monterey County saw a need for improved health services to girls and commissioned a county-wide, girl-led study on the issue. On November 17 was the launch event of their initiative, “Girls Health in Girls Hands.” The goals of the initiative are to ensure girls in Monterey County have better access to healthcare services and information thus enabling them to make healthier choices, empower them to advocate for themselves and act as positive catalysts for change in their community, especially with other young women.
MCRCC was given a $15,000 grant to collaboratively work with 5 other community organization to bring more health education services to the young women of the county. MCRCC My Life facilitators Tarah and Cynthia came to the event 28-girls strong from 5 different My Life clubs of high schools across the county. All participants, ages 11-18 identified ten top health concerns they have with the top five consisting of: self-esteem, stress, alcohol abuse and sex (tied), and depression.
The day saw break-out sessions on the top ten concerns and My Life girls taking leadership roles with 5 of them addressing the whole conference of 120 girls and adult facilitators to sum up their groups discussions and findings. For the My Life girls it was a chance to connect with fellow group members from other schools for the first time, and meet girls from other programs in North and South county who are engaging their community and working towards healthy change.
In Spring of 2013, GHGH is planning to have a Summit to take stock of the progress made towards the long-term goals since the launch event. A summary will be provided here in the newsletter.