Thank you for your support. HOTGIRLS is no longer operating. This website is an archive and celebration of our work.

Youth Advisors

Although the Young Women’s Leadership Council is no longer operating, this page provides a brief overview of our youth development approach.

HOTGIRLS partners with youth advisors (formerly “Girls Leadership Council”) to ensure that girls have a strong voice within our organization.  Our youth advisors have demonstrated leadership potential and a strong commitment to HOTGIRLS.



Above: The five founding members of the Girls Leadership Council
(with Blackgirl Magazine founder Kenya Jordana James)
at the Georgia Young Women’s Health Summit (Summer 2003)
Left to Right: HOTGIRLS Founder Carla Stokes, Anais, London, Kenya, Biantae, Tai, and Danielle

Goals:

  • To inform girls about health and social justice issues that affect young women and girls
  • To inspire girls to raise awareness about health and social justice issues through youth organizing and girl-driven media
  • To promote and support healthy decision-making
  • To challenge the way girls view themselves and change the way they are perceived by their peers and society
  • To promote positive self-image, self-confidence, self-respect, and positive images of women and girls

What Do Our Youth Advisors Do?

Our youth advisors provide teen girls in the Atlanta area with information, support, and skills needed to develop leadership potential and create positive changes in their lives and communities. The girls receive ongoing training in health and social justice issues, youth organizing, and media production.

Youth Advisors:

    • Give their opinions and advice about issues that are important to youth
    • Develop leadership skills and educate other youth about health and social justice issues
    • Create educational materials and educate peers about health and social justice issues
    • Get hands-on experience creating media including web content by contributing to IAmWorthit.org (members learn about web development, conduct interviews, and create stories/movies and other online content)
    • Learn about media production while developing educational content for IAmWorthit.org.
    • Learn how to create digital artwork, produce their own music, and design Web sites in a fun, girl-friendly atmosphere.
    • Work with HOTGIRLS volunteers, Young Women’s Leadership Council members, and mentors from Spelman College to create health campaigns targeting youth and lead workshops.
    • Organize HOTGIRLS workshops and summits
    • Attend social events and have fun
Girls Leadership Council

(left to right): Jazzmyn, Stephy G, Jakia, Aria, Jasmine
Front row: Sesyli and Amber

 

In October 2006, HOTGIRLS launched the FIREGRL Club, a unique media literacy, health education, and technology training program at the Intel® Computer Clubhouse at the John H. Harland Boys and Girls Club in Southwest Atlanta. At that time, our youth advisors began educating girls in the FIREGRL Club about violence against women and girls and images in the media and hip hop. The girls have recorded educational rap and R&B songs and developed innovative materials for a campaign to raise awareness about street harassment. The FIREGRL Club program received the Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s 2007 Georgia Area Council State Program Award for excellence in Health & Life Skills programming. The program also received a 2007 Honor Award for Program Excellence in recognition of our exemplary work in metropolitan Atlanta.

Click here to read about the FIREGRL Club in the New York Times.

 

What Young Women and Girls are Saying about HOTGIRLS

The HOTGIRLS Girls’ Leadership Council: Who We Are, and What We Are All About by Amber Twine, Girls’ Leadership Council member (2005-2007)

Girls having funWhen some people hear the term, “hot girl,” they do not think of a talented, educated young woman with business attire.  Instead, they think of a beautiful “video girl”.  The HOTGIRLS Girls’ Leadership Council consists of talented and educated young women who are changing the meaning of the term, “hot girl”.

In 2001, Dr. Carla Stokes, also known as “Dr. Carla,” founded Helping Our Teen Girls In Real Life Situations, Inc. (HOTGIRLS).  HOTGIRLS is a “nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the health and lives of black young women and girls”.  According to Dr. Carla, the Girls’ Leadership Council is a “girl-led, adult supported program that promotes the self-empowerment of girls of color and inspires young women to create social change.”

“Dr. Carla is so outgoing and committed to doing great things for us,” says Jazzmyn Carter, a Girls’ Leadership Council member.

Even though Dr. Carla is the Director of HOTGIRLS, the young women are involved a lot with making the program a success.  In the summer of 2005, the Girls’ Leadership Council hosted a summit about violence against women and girls.  At the summit, the young women participants acted out role-plays and worked on different projects expressing their feelings about violence against young women.

“The summit was very nice, and since that day, I knew I wanted to be a Girls’ Leadership Council member,” says Jakia Goodwyn.  “I got my chance to join and recently helped organize an HIV/AIDS awareness summit with the rest of the Girls’ Leadership Council members.”

“At first I didn’t really want to go,” admits Amber Twine. “ I mean it was the summer, and I had the choice to go hang out with one of my best friends in Florida or go to this summit all day. Today I have no regrets of going to the summit and missing the trip, because of all the fun I had, and I’m proud to say I am now an active member of the Girls’ Leadership Council.”

At the summit, the young women also learned about street harassment, violence against women and girls, and self-defense.  Self-defense is a good thing to know, because knowing how to protect yourself is always great.The Girls’ Leadership Council meets in the Atlanta Underground.

“We were really thankful to know that the staff and management at the Lowman Group, Inc. allowed us to use this space.  It’s really helpful,” says another member, Jasmine Twine.

The location where the Girls’ Leadership Council meets is a wise one.  In the Atlanta Underground, there are so many young women whose lives can be touched by HOTGIRLS. The young women walk around and do a little shopping, but for the most part, they are getting themselves into trouble.

“It’s really hard for a teenager to stay focused on the right things,” reports Sesyli Carter. Dr. Carla is a very unique person and makes it easier to stay on track.”

The parents of these young women all agree that the Girls’ Leadership Council is a very positive program, which helps the participants grow into stronger young women each day.

HOTGIRLS by Aria Byrd, Girls’ Leadership Council member (2005-2007)

Girls' working on song lyricsHelping Our Teen Girls In Real Life Situations (H.O.T.G.I.R.L.S) Inc. is a thriving, nonprofit organization located in metro Atlanta that notices the different obstacles black young women and girls go through.  Dr. Carla Stokes,

Dr. Carla Stokes, the founder of HOTGIRLS, feels that the issues pertaining to young women and girls of color have been overlooked and so normalized that it’s now becoming accepted by society.

Young girls of color go through issues with sexuality, street harassment, racism, body image, and being accepted in a world where they are the minority.  Even though some parents may be willing to listen, most girls aren’t willing to talk, and HOTGIRLS is a place where they can feel comfortable talking about their problems while being educated on worldwide issues pertaining to them.

One of the organizational purposes is to reflect the unique needs and interests of black young women and girls.  To effectively do this, Dr. Carla started the Girls’ Leadership Council, a group of girls who range in age from 13-17. These young ladies help the organization appeal to the hip hop generation by giving their opinions and advising on issues that are important to youth today.  According to Dr. Carla, they help keep the organization current and creative.  They also develop leadership skills like teaching other youth about social justice issues and organizing and leading the annual HOTGIRLS teen summit.

The purpose of the annual summit is to attract potential members and to educate young girls on sexual and reproductive health, street harassment, violence against young women, and media literacy. Each year there is a main theme that they focus on.  The theme for 2007 was “Upgrade You: Real talk for Real Girls”.  The issues that were addressed were street harassment and the epidemic of HIV/AIDS relating to young black women and girls.

“The summits are good ways to educate young girls on serious issues.  The fact that teens are educating teens makes a difference because they can relate to us more versus an adult”, says Jazzmyn Carter (former Girls’ Leadership Council member).

As HOTGIRLS continues to make a difference in the Atlanta community, in the future, we want to make an impact on the nation.  We will soon be launching the FIREGRL web site.  It will have relevant information directed primarily to girls and will hopefully inspire them to speak out about their lives and take action in their communities.  We will also be launching a national campaign to help uplift black girls and celebrate their diversity and accomplishments.

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave