Letter from a Teen Squad Participant

My name is Corazon, and I have been a part of Teen Squad for the past two years. I have attended workshops, planned sessions, leadership workshops, spoke at the Girls in the Game fundraiser this year and became a senior coach for Pershing Magnet Elementary School. Thanks to this great opportunity, I learned three important things that I will utilize in my future endeavors.

First, is the power of collaboration. The skill of being a great team member is extremely valuable in today’s society. Innovative ideas are never cultivated alone. In Teen Squad, we work as a team to divide up roles when coaching or problem-solving when issues occur. At the end of the day, we always figure it out and ensure that girls get the best experience we can offer to them. I could never imagine how I would do this alone if it wasn’t for the other amazing coaches that have been by my side. 

Second, is the importance of professionalism and constructing networks. During Leadership Week, we visit various companies located throughout downtown Chicago, and we have the opportunity to explore, discover different careers and meet women who work within them. This past year, we went to amazing places such as the Blackhawks headquarters and the Australian Consulate. I felt so cool in school the next week when I returned and everyone wanted to hear about how and why I was in the Blackhawks locker room and taking selfies with the Stanley Cup. More importantly, Girls in the Game left me with a professional network of people I can reach out to for career advice, life advice and potential jobs. All of this as only a high school student! 

Finally, is understanding and accepting that despite me being a coach to girls and teaching them, they have taught me too. They taught me about love, friendship and patience, of course. As a matter of fact, these girls have done much more for me than I could ever do for them. Times when my life felt like it was spiraling out of control, I knew I could always count on my girls every Thursday to put a smile on my face, whether it was Amirah’s funny dance or Brooklyn running up to me as soon as I entered the door to give me a huge bear hug. Because of my amazing experience coaching, I hope to continue coaching when I am in college–just a ten-minute bus ride away! 

In closing, my advice to the rest of the Teen Squad members that have yet to graduate is to take advantage of these opportunities! You will learn so much and leave with so much more than the scholarship money. I would like to extend my utmost gratitude to everyone who makes this program possible.

You can make a difference in the life of a teen by contributing to our Teen Squad Scholarship Fund. Teen Squad participants like Corazon earn scholarship money as they coach younger girls, lead workshops, participate in Leader to Leader interviews and more! Empower a teen today with a gift of any size.