Reflections from the Hawai`i Girls Court Family
This page houses reflections, dreams and accomplishments from the girls, parents and staff of the Hawai`i Girls Court Program. As we grow, we are excited by the potential of information presented here.
People sometimes ask us, “How worthwhile is the Girls Court Program when it only serves a small number of girls?"
This story, adapted from the Star Thrower by Loren Eisley, addresses the preceding question and reflects the Girls Court mission.
~ Rachel Yuen, Program Specialist
What do girls say about Girls Court?
- I think I’ve done so much better since I’ve been in Girls Court.
- They gave me permission to be good.
- It’s [Girls Court] probably better than all the other stuff, that’s why. It really did more instead of just, like throwing me into DH [Detention Home} and stuff like that. They went deeper. And so that’s a good thing.
- She helps me realize that if it wasn’t for me [and what I chose to do] my mom wouldn’t have called the cops at all. It’s all my fault….. I’m starting to realize it’s all my fault.
- She’s helping me better myself, by accepting responsibility.
- Like me and my mom, we used to always fight, my mom is like my best friend and at one point we were arguing every single day but Emma and my PO brought us in one day just me and my mom and we talked about things. And from that one meeting, it’s like a lot of weight has been lifted off both me and my mom’s shoulders. I got to hear how she feels and she got to hear how I feel. So the problem wasn’t even that big after the meeting. The problem was actually really small, but in her mind in was big and in my mind it was big. So, I like that the thing of Women’s Way that they, the things the women said…. Like, my mom started crying and stuff like that, it was like “oh thank you.” It gives us a lot to talk about because otherwise at home, I’m always with my boyfriend. It really helps, a lot, like we don’t get into fights anymore. We bicker but that’s not fighting.
What do parents say about Girls Court?
- Communication is more open and I feel that my daughter is totally opposite of what she was at the beginning.
- I am proud of her progress and her accomplishments and I am glad she chose to persevere.
- We communicate better.
- Being here at Girls Court helped my daughter so much, she is more loving and faithful to herself and also her parents and family.
- Able to sit and talk with my daughter without getting into arguments.
- She is now more open and talks about things that she would probably hide from me.
How would you say your parenting has changed since you began with Girls Court?
- Changed the way my daughter respects me.
- I stop and take the time to listen instead of just giving the orders.
- There is more communication between my daughter and me.
- I understand more of what she wants/needs and I try to meet the needs and wants.
- To be there for all of our children, and talk with them about what is right and wrong.
- We spend more time and talk a lot
- I now listen more to her and listening made a huge difference.
Reflection from Emma Pavich (Program Therapist)
"Change happens and new growth emerges"... Looking back at our year together shows us many changes in all of our Girls Court Ohana. When we take time to look back on the year we have shared we take with us many memories of the good times we spent with each other. We acknowledge new ways of thinking and treating one another that have improved our lives and finally we have come to see and understand how important we are to one another and how connected we are to each other. I thank you all for being my teachers, for making me a better person for giving me memories I will always cherish. I wish you all continued success and happiness and invite you to continue dreaming big dreams, being great people and making every effort to create peace on our planet.
Ahuihou (until we meet again),
We proudly present the Art of Jani
Jani participated in Girls Court's first cohort. After completion of the program in December 2005, she returned to the program to serve as a mentor to other girls.
While in the Girls Court program, Jani received her high school diploma. She is currently enrolled at the Leeward Community College. For fun, she takes art classes from art instructor Yolanta Strazdas.
- Click here for some of her most recent work.
Christianna & ProjectFocus 2006
Girls Court member Christinanna participated in the 2006 ProjectFocus, a program which aims at enriching the lives of youth in need through the use of photography. This year’s program focused on the youth of Ohana Ola Kahumana in Wai‘anae. The youth were photographed in their own communities during the 12 week program, trained in photography basics, and given the assignment to photograph a significant person in their lives. The results were on display at the Aloha Tower Marketplace.
- Click here for photos of Christinna’s special night at the opening of the exhibit.