Mentoring club helps girls find a way in high school

Zoe Collins

Many girls grow up dreaming of being a princess, and Grace Kelly Girls helps high school girls embrace their inner princess.

The club coined its name from the idolization of Grace Kelly, an American actress who became the Princess of Monaco in 1956. Grace Kelly shows that girls can embrace their inner princess while being smart, talented and independent.

The concept of Grace Kelly Girls was proposed to Andrea Reeves by a former student who wished there was a way for her to engage in a mentorship program. Reeves started the club during the 2011-12 school year.

Reeves wanted the club to be able to have an impact on a small group of girls, and she hoped it would grow as the club continued through the years.

Grace Kelly Girls uses a “big sister, little sister” approach to mentorship to help girls empower each other and build relationships while working as a safe and positive outlet in their lives.

To be a big sister, girls go through an interview process, being asked things like how they’d interact with their little sister.

Each member fills out a questionnaire asking random things from favorite ice cream flavors to favorite subjects, and then the results are used to pair up girls with similar interests.

Senior Autumn Jones joined the beginning of her junior year, and she sees a lot of benefits.

“It’s such a positive group, and you really get to learn a lot about yourself,” Jones said. “It’s very uplifting.”

Senior Maggie Roundtree joined her sophomore year and says that Grace Kelly Girls has helped her become more aware of the struggles girls her age face.

“We all go through a lot, and it’s nice to learn from each other and have that feeling of a community,” she said.

The club meets once a month and the members start with a snack and time to catch up with their sisters. After that, the group has a lesson or activity based on the chosen topic for that month.

For example, when focusing on kindness, the girls made kindness posters and hung them around the school. The girls also made valentine cards for a local nursing home.

At the beginning of each school year, teachers take a few weeks to get to know the freshman girls and decide who to nominate. They look for girls who have a lot of potential, but may need some help adjusting to life in high school.

When nominating big sisters, teachers look for girls who are very mature and well rounded, but also represent the diversity in the school.

Out of all the things Reeves has done throughout her years at Boone, Grace Kelly Girls is the thing she’s most proud of.

Reeves is interested in starting a similar club for boys and also has the goal to continue expanding and helping more girls with Grace Kelly Girls.

“The impact of the program school wide has really been a positive one,” Reeves said. “People take it seriously and want to be a part of it, and the potential to help girls is there and I love that.”