Greene County Logo GEMS (Girls Empowering Minds & Spirits)

Staff Reflections

GEM’s Softball
Summer 2014

Being a coach for this group of GEM’S girls has truly been an amazing experience. It has been truly inspiring to watch each girl grow and become more confident throughout the season. By playing together each week, the girls became a team, learned how to have great sportsmanship, and learned what true team spirit means. The GEM’S team had an amazing support system, not only from the Juvenile Office staff but from the parents as well. Overall I believe this season was a huge success! I want to thank the girls for being involved and dedicated to this season and to the parents for being an amazing cheer section. I cannot wait to see what the future holds for each and every one of these girls!

Coach Courtney

Our first season of GEM’s softball with “A Sporting Chance” was a great success! The girls came into the season with open minds and were willing to work hard. Most of the girls had never played softball before, so they had to learn the rules of the game and how to play in two short practices. The beginning of the season proved to be challenging, but by the end of the season the girls worked well together as a team, had great sportsmanship, and were doing extremely well on the field. We were even complimented by the head of “A Sporting Chance” on how much we have improved. Other teams frequently told us how impressed they were with our batting. Every single girl has been such a great asset to the team and they all have improved more than I could’ve ever imagined! I would like to thank the girls for being so involved in the team and allowing me the opportunity to hit the field once again. I would also like to thank the parents who were so supportive and proudly cheered us on each game. It has been such a great season coaching the girls and I am looking forward to next season already!

Coach Catie

I Pour Life Day Out/Benefit Concert

Our I Pour Life event was very exciting for both, the girls and the staff members. Even though the event took all day, I felt like time flew by because of how much fun it was. I could tell that the participating girls enjoyed themselves because they were constantly smiling, laughing, and having friendly conversations. I believe that it was more than just a fun experience for them due to the fact that they could relate to Alyson's story and learn that hope, patience, and will can turn one's life around. I felt very happy to see the girls enjoy spending time with each other and the staff, do something different with their day, and get out to the community. It was also an amazing experience for me because it felt very good and fulfilling to see the girls get pampered and excited to meet two famous people.

Attending the I Pour Life benefit was a privilege and a blessing. The I Pour Life organization is a refreshing glimpse into the heart of individuals who truly care about the impact of poverty on a community and seek to restore human lives to a place of dignity. I appreciated learning more about this program and how they add to the lives of thousands of people in impoverished countries. In addition, I was able to experience I Pour Life's heart intimately by watching them pour blessing on the girls of the GEMS program. For three hours, I was able to watch the girls' faces light up with delight as their hair was styled, their makeup freshened, and their photos taken to capture the depth of beauty in each girl. For some girls, this was a stretching experience that cultivated a stronger sense of confidence and appreciation within themselves. This experience was akin to a literally pouring of life into impressionable girls being shaped and molded into adulthood. Also, beyond the mere physical beauty of hair, makeup, and photography, Alyson Stoner was able to pour life through her soulful edification for a room full of blossoming young women. Her words seemed to ripple off the walls and into the hearts of girls and women eager to receive a fresh breath of encouragement. This event revealed more deeply to me that beauty and life can be cultivated in the darkest of circumstances. This awakening requires a community, a group of people, even an individual to seek out that beauty by pouring life into a person and overflowing to a community.

I really enjoyed attending the I Pour Life event with the GEMS girls. I thought it was a great experience for the girls and it really helped open up their world. Some of them have never had the opportunity to get their hair and makeup done, so it was really great to see them experience that for the first time. You could tell it boosted their confidence and made them feel good. It was also nice to see the GEMS girls bond with the other girls from the I Pour Life group. Some of the GEMS girls requested to stay connected to them after the event!

What an amazing opportunity, I Pour Life and their team did more for GEM’s girls than I could have ever imagined. The heart and effort they put into this day, showed their heart related to the youth served by GEM’s. The provided one-on-one teen mentors for our girls. These girls made a huge difference in the day for our girls, because they took time and got to know our girls and built relationships with them. This event was great on so many levels, the thought they put into giving our girls a day to feel special, loved and wanted. The girls had opportunity to hear from Alyson Stoner, who also has struggles in her life with her health and wellness, and she spoke a message of inspiration to the girls. The girls lit up as they listened to her. Everything that day was special from getting their hair and makeup done at a professional salon, to shopping with their I Pour Life teen mentor, dinner at a nice restaurant downtown, to the concert…front row, photos, meet and greet. I was so special to be put, and lucky that I was able to attend. Seeing the light in these girls’ eyes, their happiness showing through, and their smiles…I have not saw the girls smile nearly as much as I did that day. They felt special and loved. I Pour Life’s commitment to GEM’s and our community is beyond imagination, all of their staff and teen volunteers care about this community and the at-risk population and want to be part of the bigger picture to make change. We are lucky to have them on our team!

I personally enjoyed this event because it gave me an opportunity to build stronger relationships with the girls. This is very beneficial when I work with the girls one-on-one during the week. I also really liked learning about the I Pour Life organization and what they're all about. Before this, I had no idea that this issue was happening and how badly the community needed help. Overall, I thought this was a really fun experience and would love to do it again!

Youth Reflections

Missouri State University Women’s Leadership Conference/Suit Yourself Boutique Shopping Trip

First, thank you for this amazing experience and thank you for the two new outfits that I will put to good use!

The people that were there to help shop were very helpful. It didn't take me very long to find anything to wear but the search was fun. It helped me experience business wear and what I could be dressing like in the future.

I learned that women are stronger than we may think and that we shouldn't hold back anything. Take positive chances and learn from your failures. Margaret Burd said "Think Big, Don't half way do something, if you do it, finish it." I liked that because everything is a learning experience and she was also my favorite speaker because she was funny!!

Youth Artistic Reflections