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Teen Leadership Circles (TLC)
Student-led education and community action

Girls and gender-expansive youth build leadership and create social change through community projects.

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Girls Inc. of New York City recognizes the untapped leadership potential in every girl. Our Teen Leadership Circles (TLC) provide an intensive training and personal development program for high school girls. Through their participation, girls are trained to become peer leaders at their schools, where they will educate and support their classmates by creating girl-only safe spaces and facilitating workshops on the many challenges they face as growing young women.

Programs are more sustainable and effective when youth are partners in their design, development, and implementation. As they returned to school in-person, after pandemic isolation, students felt unsure about how to interact with their peers. TLCs have offered a welcoming space for students to re-engage each other.


  • The vast majority of participants realized gains in the following categories: consciousness raising, youth leadership, social growth and identity, community organizing and social justice, academic self-efficacy, grit, growth mindset, interpersonal skills, and problem solving.

  • During school year 2021-2022, peer leaders led community service projects in their schools. For example, New Explorations into Science, Technology, and Math (abbreviated NEST+M) leaders, partnered with their Middle School’s Period Club to ensure quality feminine care products were available for all students. Bronx River High School and Unity Center for Urban Technologies leaders created wellness kits for women's shelters.

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