WHAT WE DO
THE BB PROGRAM
BOOSTING BRAVERY is a FREE leadership program for teens who self-identify as girls from anywhere in the US. In weekly small “teams“ older girls use BB Modules to lead younger girls in building skills around in-person and online emotional and relationship challenges. The older girls get guidance from women mentors.
BOOSTING BRAVERY launched late summer 2020 and since then four 8 weeks sessions have occurred and the fifth one is happening now, Spring 2022.
It is all about having fun, creating positive bonds, and boosting key life skills.
Click here to get more info on how it works!
* High school and middle school girls truly appreciate getting time together to teach and share, which boosts their sense of confidence, purpose, and connection.
* Doing mini psychology experiments and exploring brain science in the modules helps girls feel motivated and respected.
* Girls face unique stressors related to social media, mental health issues, the #MeToo movement, and more and therefore providing them with targeted tools is key.
* As a society, we often tell girls to “stop the drama” rather than commend them for being gutsy in their efforts to sort out tough relationships and talk about difficult emotions.
* Society will benefit from a greater focus on emotional and relationship skills; girls can be leaders in this realm.
* Teens know best the types of skill areas they want to boost and what strategies are fun and engaging. Teens must be an integral part of the creation and ongoing growth of the program.
HOW IT WORKS
BB creates "teams" of girls, which consist of 2 High School Leaders (called "BB Leaders") and 4 to 6 Middle School Participants (called "BB Teamers") ---all from diverse backgrounds and locations in the US.
All meetings are over Zoom.
Each week each pair of BB Leaders receives that week's BB Module.
They review it together in preparation for leading their team of middle school girls in a few days.
One final step happens before leading their team, which is they, along with other pairs of BB Leaders, meet over Zoom with a trained women mentor to highlight key aspects of that week's BB Module.
This mentor meets with the same cohort of BB Leaders for the duration of the program.
Then the BB Leaders meet with their BB Teamers in their teams and lead that week's Module.
All team members are asked for ideas and feedback along the way to keep evolving the program.
WHAT BB COVERS
Many of the core elements of the BB Modules were brought in by founder Delaney Ruston, which came from her years of extensively researching skills for teens’ emotional and relationship challenges and then leading workshops for teens and testing out which things resonated most with them.
Input into the BB Modules has also come from a diverse group of women and teens. The modules are constantly evolving as new input is gathered from girls who do the program as well as from BB’s expanding leadership team.
EXAMPLES OF THEMES IN THE BB MODULES
Redefining the idea of bravery
Learning the power of setting tiny targets
Addressing tricky relationships online and off (girls don't have to have social media)
Navigating negative self-talk
Relationship skills, like “processing” vs “gossiping,” and action steps for truer friendships
Ways to elevate the positives of screen time and decrease the negative
Why boundary setting is so hard and useful mind frames to do so
The BB Modules are full of engaging activities, such as doing mini psychology experiments, unique discussion questions, games and more.
In addition, each team creates a small Media For Good project that they share with the other teams at the end of the 8-week session, as well as our website and beyond.
The Media For Good project emboldens girls to see themselves as positive change agents. It highlights that fact that our tech revolution gives everyone the ability to spread helpful and important messages.
WHY IT STARTED
A nagging thought became a nonstop obsession for founder Delaney Ruston. Back in 2011, a film she made included teens enjoying teaching each other about mental health topics and she was troubled by the fact that this was not commonplace. Why not? She could see that older peers can be a great resource for younger ones and that older peers benefit as well from this connection.
With the rise in social media, she realized certain stressors were particularly strong for girls and she did a thorough search for programs that connected older girls with younger ones to build helpful skills around online and offline challenges.
She was also bothered by the fact that while there are many useful tools, including ways to overcome unhelpful thoughts and behaviors, that can benefit girls, many don't learn them.
The final thing nagging at her, was the knowledge that teen girls are often invalidated and diminished for caring so much about emotions and relationships. Instead they should be respected and celebrated for their gutsiness, savviness and grit around these areas.
When COVID hit and the lockdown started, Delaney had an AH HA MOMENT. Why not bring together brilliant women and brilliant teen girls to start such a program?
And why not use the good aspects of our tech revolution to make this happen--since girls can meet all sorts of strangers online, why not bring girls together with clear positive intentions? And won’t this approach also enable girls from all corners of the country to benefit--girls who might not get exposure to resiliency skills as often?
Can girls in 5th grade be Middle School Participants?
Currently BB is only accepting girls in 6th, 7th and 8 grades. But this may change at any time so we recommend fill out the short form on the Sign Up page so we can notify you if this changes. Also, if you are in 5th grade we hope you will join once you are in 6th grade!
Can girls in 9th grade be High School Leaders?
Ninth grade girls are welcome to sign-up to become a high school leader, but with the understanding that older high school grades (10th, 11th, and 12th grade) receive preference due to limited space availability. In the event that there is not space available, we hope 9th grade girls would consider joining BB in later years of high school.
Can girls outside of the US participate in BB?
Currently BB is only accepting girls who reside with in 50 US States. The best way to know if this changes is to subscribe to our newsletter. Otherwise please check back to our website in the future.
Do all girls receive community service and leadership hours for participating?
Yes, both middle school and high school age girls receive hours for their participation. All girls are contributing to each other's knowledge and growth as well helping to evolving the BOOSTING BRAVERY program through sharing feedback and ideas.
High school girls can earn up to 20 hours and middle school girls can earn up to 10 hours. This difference is because the High schoolers have additional time working with their team co-leader and adult mentor in preparing to lead each BB Module.
How can schools be involved?
Schools can let their students and parents know about the program by posting information about it. Also, we are coming up with innovative ways to work together so contact firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more and share your ideas.
How can I become an adult mentor?
How can people support the work of BOOSTING BRAVERY?
Tell people about the program! Encourage schools to put it in their newsletters. Learn how you can join our team as a volunteer. Contact us about sponsorship opportunities. Also, donations of any amount greatly help to support this free to the user program.
Is this like a support group?
No. While the girls are supportive to each other it is not a support group in the therapeutic sense of the word.
Is this like a therapeutic mental health program?
No, this is not in any way a treatment program.
When BB says this is a program for "girls" who does this include? Anyone who self identifies as female or anyone who is gender non-conforming/gender neutral/non-binary. Transgender girls are invited to join as well.
How can I join the Teen Advisory Council?
Any one who has done the program is eligible to join the Council.
When will the next session dates and times be posted?
Currently dates and times are available only for our upcoming Spring session 2022, but not yet for subsequent sessions. Please fill out the short form on the Sign Up page and we will notify you when the next session dates are available.