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Six Girls Graduate from North Florida's "Golden Girls" Program

North Florida Golden Girls

Over the summer a group of six girls, ages seven to eleven, met every Thursday at Boys Town North Florida's ART Town to have fun and learn through the "Golden Girls" service.

ART Town, an acronym for Art, Training, and Resources, is a facility that provides educational and therapeutic opportunities for youth in the Family Home Program, Treatment Foster Care, and other Boys Town programs in North Florida. It gives families and children a central location to experience personal growth in a welcoming environment. Jackie Barksdale, one of two therapists who provides clinical intervention services at ART Town said, "We now have a designated space where youth can be creative, expressive, and supported while working through past traumas or learning new skills."

"Golden Girls" is one of the therapeutic services offered at ART Town. These six girls involved in the program over the summer all had goals of learning social and coping skills to help them heal from past experiences. They participated in fun activities that involved learning (psychoeducation) and sharing (processing).

The group utilized the Six Pillars of Character from the Boys Town curriculum: trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring, and citizenship, to aid in their lessons. Although the Golden Girls was a fun and energetic time, the girls worked hard learning and mastering the six pillars. "I met my new best friend," said Nevaeh, an 8-year-old girl involved in the group. "I got to see her every Thursday to do fun things together."

North Florida Golden Girls 

Each one of the girls successfully completed the group and received a Certificate of Graduation from Marcus Lampkin, Executive Director Boys Town Florida, during a graduation ceremony. "It was an amazing experience watching these girls rely on each other and work together to accomplish so many things from baking treats to discussing what they do to cope with their bad dreams and tough emotions," said Gina Rogers, a student intern. "These girls displayed resilience, patience, and empathy in their group to work together to accomplish a goal even through unexpected challenges and frustrations. It was truly amazing to experience."

Congratulations to the recent graduates and thank you Boys Town North Florida for your continued hard work with these young girls.