We are honoured to launch our young champions, a discrete group of young women rocking their world and stepping up to be champions of our work following their participation in either of our long term interventions Big Sister or Stardom.
These young superstars are available for media work and to share their stories with other girls in schools within the Greater Manchester area. They are paying it forward and inspiring more girls to step up and shine.
Beth joined the Stardom programme at her school when she was 14 as her teachers felt she was wasting her potential and participating in some dangerous activities, on the cusp of serious mental health challenges and struggling to open up to anyone about this. In her own words she says…
‘I was as a 14 year old girl who was lost within herself. I was unable to understand or express my emotions in a healthy way. I was struggling with problems at home as well as my sexuality and what my family and friends would think of it. Due to this I developed low self-esteem which made me lose hope for the future as well as myself. This led to me misbehaving in school, getting in relationships which were unhealthy and participating in activities which put me and my life at risk.
I am now just about to turn 18 and have been accepted into Salford University to study Children’s Nursing. The Stardom programme has taught me to live my life the way I want to and most importantly to love myself the way I am. I have learnt to accept my sexuality and to be proud of it rather than ashamed. Jane and Sarra my Stardom coaches helped me to know that bad days are okay and being selfish is sometimes needed in order to care for yourself. Without Girls Out Loud I would still be that 14 year old struggling with her identity and mental health.
I am now happier than ever and very excited about my next steps. I can’t thank Jane and Sarra enough for the time and support they have given me. Having someone care for you, and learning to care for yourself makes all the difference. I am extremely excited about the opportunity to become an ambassador for this cause.’
We are extremely happy to have you on board too Beth. You are a rock star!
Jasmine was 14 when she was nominated to join the Big Sister programme in her school. She was a bright girl but hiding her light and not confident atall in class, Jasmine recalls…
‘I feel like Girls Out Loud made me believe in myself a lot more than I did. My Big Sister really helped me through stages where I felt like I couldn’t do what I wanted to do because of the grades I got. I always felt really stupid and didn’t feel confident in my answers in lessons but my Girls Out Loud mentor really helped me get my confidence back and my grades improved because of it. I also really loved drama but never did the school show because I wasn’t confident but I was inspired by my Big Sister’s positive attitude and this changed my attitude towards outgoing things. The year after the Big Sister programme finished I did the school show and it was the best experience of my life. Girls Out Loud gave me a goal of success and I grabbed it and went way beyond what I believed I could do.’
Jasmine, now 17 is at 6th form studying law, psychology and sociology and has her sights set on going to University to study law or criminology. This is where her passion lies and she is going to grab it with both hands!
We are super proud of Jasmine and delighted to welcome her to the Teen champion’s league!
Amelia was a fiery, misunderstood 15 year old at risk of permanent exclusion when she was selected to participate in our intense, emotional intervention Stardom in 2018. She was reluctant to engage at first but when she did she became the group leader and motivator and changed her life. She is now studying photography and business studies at 6th form in Bury and is definitely going to be one to watch. She also won the Rock Star Award at the Shining Stars Ball in October 2019 and her story brought the house down.
‘I feel very lucky to have been given the opportunity to be involved with Girls Out Loud it has changed my life. Before I started the Stardom programme I was lonely, scared, angry and lost and kicking off all the time as I had no idea how to understand or handle my emotions. The coaches Jane and Sarra helped me to unpick my emotions, think positively and find the real me. They fed the fire that’s been burning in me for so long and I am now honoured to join the team as an Ambassador and maybe my story can help others.’
Amelia you are a rock star and we are tickled pink you are on board!
See Amelia sharing her win at the Shining Stars Ball in 2019
Lexie is 15, now a very confident 15 year old at a school in Salford. She started her Girls Out Loud journey in year 8 and is now proud to say she is certain she will follow her dream of becoming a Forensic Scientist which is what she has wanted to do since being a very young girl.
‘The Big Sister programme has been an amazing journey for me as it has completely changed my life. It has given me the confidence to be me and follow my dreams. I am a Morris dancer and have been for about 4 years, I stopped and regretted it, Lisa, my amazing Big Sister, encouraged me to join again as I missed it a lot and now, I am so happy that I listened to her. This is only one of the many things that my big sister has helped me overcome and achieve. My Big Sister has been a constant and real role model and has helped me become confident and just a better person in general. I have got rid of toxic people my life who have brought me down for years. I am now the happiest I have ever been. Lisa taught me to know my worth and has showed me that no matter what happens to always put myself first and to get myself out of situations that I don’t think are the best for me. I currently feel on top of the world both at school and at home and I know now that I can achieve anything But I would never even be feeling this way without Girls Out Loud so I am now ready to pay if forward and help other young girls believe in themselves.’
We are honoured to have you on the team Lexie and we are certain you will inspire other girls so bring it on!
Jessica is 17 and in her final year at a Manchester school. Her main aspiration is acting, whether its TV work or theatre. Girls Out Loud played a key role in boosting her confidence and encouraging her to follow her dream.
‘I participated in the Big Sister programme as a shy 13 year old girl with a love for music and acting yet I had so little confidence. When I first met my Big Sister Sara, I’d struggled with being bullied and had such little self-esteem. Throughout the 12 month programme, Sara had a main role in helping me to boost my confidence. She taught me that not everyone needs to look like Kim Kardashian or be a size 4 to fit in and taught me that it’s okay not to be okay sometimes. Most of all Sara has encouraged me to step out of my comfort zone and be the best version of myself that I can be. A significant memory from the 12 month course was when Sara had an idea to create an “awesome jar”. This was where we’d write down positive things about each other and put them into a jar; when we were feeling down we’d look at these notes and see the positive things about ourselves.
Now I’m 16 with an ongoing passion for acting. I now have more confidence and believe that I have the potential to do whatever I dream. I’ve joined an acting agency and started attending acting classes to help achieve my aspirations. Girls Out Loud is awesome and made me want to be a role model to others as I believe every girl deserves a chance to find their confidence, step out of their comfort zone, discover their potential and chase their dreams. Being picked to go on this programme has been life changing for me and I now ready to be an Ambassador for the cause.’
We are delighted to have Jessica on our team, she is an amazing role model already!
Lexie and Jessica won the Little Sister Out Loud Award at the Shining Stars Ball in October 2019 here they are talking about their win.