Rictrice McKiver flipped through her notes as she talked about Girl Talk, her newly created program for teen girls, created to bring teen girls together to give them a chance to discuss subjects they may not feel comfortable doing at home and to provide the girls with a sister or mother figure that may be missing in their everyday lives. The girls are given the opportunity to come and learn about sexual education, resume career building, and healthy relationships.
McKiver grew up in Washington D.C. She moved to North Carolina in 2007 to attend N.C. Central University.
“As a teenager growing up in the inner-city, it was always peer pressure. I was around people who didn’t have structure at home,” said McKiver. “I ended up becoming a teen mother at 15. I want to be able to be or provide that mother or sister figure for these girls so they have someone to turn to.”
The program is designed to run nine weeks and starts with a module on hygiene. The second week will address peer pressure and relationships. The third week is focused on career and resume building so the girls can take the lessons learned here with them into their future endeavors.
McKiver is currently looking for sponsors for the program so she can afford to take the girls out. She is also looking for some businesses owners in the community who will come to different events for the girls and teach them their trade or provide services. Young women volunteers for these teens are welcomed.
Lyric Salters, 23, and a recent graduate of NCCU with a criminal justice degree, understands what teen girls go through.
“I was raised by my dad with the help of my grandparents and my aunt,” said Salters. “I feel like not having my mom in my life the way I needed her to be may have limited me from learning certain things that a woman helps you with in life.”
When she was going through challenging times and had no one to talk, she said she turned to her music and poetry, writing songs to release her unspoken feelings.
“Although music was a good way for me to handle the everyday stresses of life, it could not teach me the things I lacked from not having a female figure during the most crucial period of my life,” she said.
Salters said she feels lucky because she did have family support. She feels that Girls Talk will be a great program to provide young ladies with an outlet and someone to show them the ropes.
“Young women need this program to become properly educated on what healthy relationships look like. It also helps them learn and value their worth,” said Salters. ” I feel this will prevent generational habits from becoming a repetitive cycle.”
The goal for this program is for participants be confident in their own skin, give them a vocal outlet and the tools to conquer whatever obstacles lay in their way in the future.
“This program is free. All of our programs here at Holton are free. We’ve had people in the past tell us how some of the programs were expensive, so now they are free and we want to provide a service for the community,” said McKiver.
The program is hosted every second and fourth Tuesday from 6 to 7 p.m. The session runs from Jan. 8 – May 21. The age range is from 13 to 17. The program is held at the Holton Career and Resource Center, 401 N. Driver St. Pre-registration for the program is required, and students can register at the administration office, or at Durham Parks and Recreation centers or online at https://www.dprplaymore.org/344/Registration-Instructions.