Tamar, a longtime member of Girls Group for the last 6 years, is a senior at Huron High School. Tamar enjoyed weekly group programming and summer enrichments all through middle school. However, like many students, her life became more challenging when the pandemic hit during her first two years of high school.
As the oldest sibling with two parents working outside the home during that time, she had a lot of additional responsibilities taking care of her siblings and struggled to manage her own mental health at times. She remembers “when I woke up in the morning the first thing I did was get my sisters up and ready for the day. It was all up to me to make sure they were fed, took showers, and completed school. I lost all motivation for myself and I used my time and energy to make sure my sisters were alright.”
Girls Group individual mentoring sessions during the pandemic provided Tamar a safe space that allowed her to take care of her needs, find her “why”, and stay motivated with school and on-track for graduation. “I think you have your main why when your drive and motivation are low, but you can have other whys and reasons to keep pushing and keep you going. I want to go to school to help others (main why), but when that isn’t enough, I have those other factors like wanting to have a better lifestyle and making my parents happy to fall back on.” As school transitioned back to in-person Tamar was eager to get involved in her community and reconnect with others. She became a member of the Black Student Union at school, part of the Girls Group Youth Leadership Council, and gained work experience in retail after-school.
In the last two years of high school Tamar has been highly engaged in Girls Group College & Career Prep services to help her solidify her plans for after high school graduation. She shared, “I learned college is more than just going. You have to know about what you want and who you are.” All of her hard work is paying off as she has recently been accepted into her top 3 colleges.
Another huge milestone she achieved was saving up enough money working after-school to buy her first car this month! Tamar’s focus from now until graduation in June is to keep her grades steady, continue working after-school, and apply for as many scholarships as possible to build her college funds.
When reflecting on what Girls Group has meant to her over the years she shared, “Girls Group to me is more than just a program, it’s a second family filled with people who not only support me, but set me up for success and also help me continue to find my way through this game of life!” As part of her legacy, Tamar has also encouraged her younger 6th grade sister to follow in her footsteps and join Girls Group programming at Scarlett Middle School!