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You Are Here : Home : Activities & Events : Core Program: Growing Strong : Got Choices

 Larissa's Story: Changing MyselfBlog: Reflections on Working With Girls Behind BarsFrom the San Francisco Chronicle: Youth Offenders Give as Girl Scouts

What is Got Choices?

In existence since 1996, Got Choices is a weekly, year-round healthy lifestyle and prevention program for girls who are involved in the juvenile justice system, gang impacted/involved, teen mothers or have other at-risk factors. In recent years, Got Choices has added a prevention component by expanding our programming to serve middle school girls who live in gang-impacted and/or low income communities. We have taken this measure to encourage pro-social activity before they enter a high school environment.

"Really, Girl Scouts helps us be better decision-makers because it makes you think first before you act. You can finally see how one little mistake can change the whole direction of your life." - Brandi, a Got Choices participant

Got Choices strives to address the sensitive and unique issues of these girls and offers them the opportunity to participate in Girl Scout activities that help cultivate a positive value system, a stronger social conscience, higher self esteem and the critical life skills needed to become healthy, productive young women. Our belief is that every girl, no matter what her life circumstances are, should have the opportunity to participate in Girl Scouting. 

How Does Got Choices Work?

Evidence informed activities are facilitated with groups of girls at detention centers, high-risk high schools and middle schools, residential centers, alternative high schools, transitional housing facilities, and through partnerships with other youth-serving agencies. There is never any cost to the girls or their families. We are thrilled to serve girls in 5 Northern California Counties: Santa Clara, Sonoma, Solano, Alameda, and Napa.  In our 2012-2013 fiscal year, we served 930 girls -- the most girls ever served in Got Choices!

Staff facilitators serve as role models and consistent, positive adults in the lives of participants. Got Choices girls learn to thrive through group curriculum and activities, guest speakers and opportunities to participate in service projects to help the community. The girls of Got Choices also are involved in other activities throughout the year such as leadership conferences, networking with females in leadership roles, attending positive community activities, and participating in community service projects.

How Can I Help?

Volunteers: There are some short term volunteer opportunities available, particularly around the holidays. Got Choices could really utilize more long term volunteers who are willing to commit a year or more to the project. This could be a wonderful project or opportunity for a college or graduate student majoring in criminal justice, law, sociology, psychology, etc.

Donation of Goods: Got Choices appreciates donations of many types of items but we are always looking for:

  • New or gently used business clothing (that teenagers wouldn’t mind wearing!)
  • New or gently used baby items
  • Tickets or discounts to events and activities
  • New beauty products/toiletry items

If you have a donation of goods or would like to volunteer, please contact Whitney Evans, Got Choices program director, at 1-408-287-4170, ext. 6004, wevans@girlscoutsnorcal.org.

Financial Gifts: Got Choices it funded by grants and donations. If you would like to make a financial contribution, please click here. Make sure to choose “Got Choices” as your donation category!