If I had the opportunity to talk to a group of younger girls, I would tell them several things. First, I would talk to them about putting themselves first and that they should not worry about other people. I would like to talk to them about boyfriends and explain that they do not need a boyfriend or partner in their lives to fulfill their needs. Also, going through a through a rebellious/"party" time to have fun is not necessary and does not make you COOL. None of it is worth it. Everything I just listed makes life harder than it has to be. I would tell them that they need to work at having good relationships with their families and if there is something that is going on in their family or amongst their friends that need attention or they need help with then they need to communicate that and work towards resolving it. When things are not resolved, more problems arise. I would tell them that the kids they go to high school with probably will not even be their immediate friends or in their lives for a long period of time, some may be but others may not and the problems they are having in high school are so minor compared to the problems they'll be having in college and their young adult lives. I’d like to explain how important it is to look out for themself, that if anyone asks or tells you to do something they need to think of the consequences before you do it. Life is not worth using the "stinkin thinkin" mode (stupid thinking). To listen to their parent’s advice, they KNOW what they are talking about! Even though it sucks to admit, its really true. I am only 21 right now and have been through a lot more than most of my friends and acquaintances have been through and none of it...I mean NONE of it was worth it! I wish I would have stayed in college and worried more about myself, because I would not be in the situation that I am now. I would give young girls good insight, just by being close to their age and being able to relate a lot to what they have going on and have advice to give them from someone who's closer in age. Younger people tend to listen to people more their age. Therefore, I think that I would be a good person for someone to come and talk with. Since I love to help people I think that I would really love helping them and listening to them. –age 21
If I had the opportunity to speak to a bunch of young girls, I would express to them the importance of staying drug free and conviction free. I would express to them how drugs take away all your hopes and dreams of becoming successful. I would start by telling them know how my life as a young girl started in the military, which led me to use drugs and making bad decisions, which resulted in incarceration. I would express to them that it's never to late to turn your life around - no matter how many bad decisions you’ve made. Overall, try your best not to make any bad decision that result in hurting yourself or your love ones. –age 32
I would want to tell them how important it is to get a good education, that sex and relationships can wait. I would share some of my personal experiences with about drugs, addiction and being in jail. I would also be open for questions and would try to be as honest as possible. –age 34
Given the opportunity to speak with young girls, I would like to talk about other addictions that are not drug related, such as money addiction. People do not realize that spending money on clothes and other material items can be just as addictive as drugs. They need to understand that needing and wanting a material item is not always the best choice. Personally, I understand the feeling of wanting something at that moment, but until you work for that item, you never really appreciate it for its full value. I would say that Money Addictions are very real and that there are many people with the same problems and they are not alone. To get Therapy and to find out how to re-train you mind into not getting the money for a expensive item, until you have worked for it. –age 36
I had to talk to young kids, (4th-5th graders), at the jail several times. I tried to tell them not to try drugs or alcohol because they can ruin or sidetrack your life, but I am not sure if I got through to them. During the question/answer period, they asked us questions such as:
How big are your cells?
How much TV can you watch?
What is the food like?
Can you have cell phones?
I tried to make it sound as bad as it was while my male counterpart said it was the best jail he had ever been in, lots of TV and other sorts of examples. –age 45