Sarah: Ink About It
Sarah no longer feels embarrassed about who she is or where she comes from…
Middle school is a challenging time for any girl, but when she comes from an impoverished single-parent household, the challenges are even greater.
11-year old Sarah lives with her sister, mother and grandmother in a run-down neighborhood, where both the unemployment and crime rates are equally high. Because of challenges in their home life, the sisters were not getting the support they needed to be successful in school. Oftentimes, they didn’t have the school supplies they needed and had to wear many of the same outfits over and over again, even though they were too small.
The girls struggled with self-confidence and only saw their flaws and failures. They had a hard time managing their grades, as well as the typical social pressures most middle school students face. Sarah felt deeply ashamed and embarrassed about their situation.
Fortunately, there is a strong community center in their neighborhood that runs an ongoing Ink About It girls’ group that the sisters began to attend. The group focuses on one page every session, and the activities in the book often provide a springboard for discussions and other artistic projects. According to the leader, Ink About It provides a great “jumping off point” for the girls to discuss their feelings.
“I like that there are no right or wrong answers in Ink About It and I can draw or write whatever I want to” she shared. She also likes that her book is hers – and hers alone.
By working through Ink About It with their peers, the girls realized that they’re not the only ones dealing with issues such as self-image, school challenges, and social pressures. Through the Ink About It program, the entire group is now a strong support system for each other.
The positive benefits are readily apparent. Sarah has become more confident and more comfortable sharing her feelings with others. A church regularly donates clothes to the center. In the past, Sarah was too ashamed to accept any kind of charitable offering. This last time was different. She eagerly looked through the donated clothing and picked out a new outfit. She and her sister even put on a fashion show for the staff.
Sarah no longer feels embarrassed about who she is or where she comes from. The center’s director sees a bright future for both Sarah and her sister. She feels that Ink About It has helped the girls “learn about themselves as young ladies.” She optimistically adds, “They’re not going to settle for negative behavior just because of their difficult situation or environment.”
NOTE: To protect the child’s identity, the image does not necessarily match the story and names may or may not have been changed.