The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

Easing the transition from girlhood to womanhood through Her’d

Zoe Brown ’25 at the Hawk Hill activites fair on Aug. 31. PHOTO COURTESY OF ZOE BROWN ’25

Navigating from pre-teen to teenage years while also managing the external forces of the world can be challenging. Being able to share and talk about these experiences with a mentor can help ease some of these challenges.

The Her’d after-school mentorship program is a collaborative effort between St. Joe’s and Samuel Gompers elementary school. St. Joe’s students have the opportunity to talk and present PowerPoint presentations to seventh and eighth graders at Gompers and discuss the overall meaning of womanhood.

Zoe Brown ’25 serves this year as the head student coordinator of Her’d. According to Brown, the goal is to provide young girls with a voice by giving them a platform to talk about their experiences.

“My goal is to give a voice to the students, because I kind of see them in me,” Brown said. “Even though they’re so young, I know when I was young, I wasn’t thinking that far ahead. But these girls are very bright. And so they talk to us and talk about what they’re passionate about, and then we can equally share our passion.”

Grace Cassidy ’26, a mentor for the program during the 2022-23 school year, explained what a normal Thursday evening at Gompers looks like for the program.

“We started off with eighth graders, but then we got the seventh graders involved, so you’re working with young girls. And we would have a slideshow presented weekly,” Cassidy said.

“What I remember most is that we talked about feminine care, mental health and relationships. Just things that girls can bond about and relate to one another in a circle of trust,” Cassidy said.

The program allows the Gompers students to have someone to look up to no matter the situation, said Aliyah Rojas ’26, who participated as a mentor in the Her’d program last year.

“I think it’s important just because not everybody has somebody to talk to or has somebody to, in a sense, look up to,” Rojas said. “I also just think it’s important because you need to learn things you’re going to learn by yourself obviously, but it’s good to hear the experiences from other people as well.”

While the program is open for anyone to sign up, some of the mentors, like Cassidy, found out about the program through the social justice service learning course, What’s in the Neighborhood, and learned a lot from their experiences.

“I didn’t know much about it going into it. But, I really was grateful to be put into that program,” Cassidy said. “I got to learn a lot of new things about it.”

Not only does the program provide young women with a space to share their experiences, but it also creates a closer bond between the university and its neighboring school.

Rojas described the relationship between the Gompers and St. Joe’s students as being mutual and, most importantly, comfortable between all students involved.

“[It’s a] good relationship, especially with the girls in the sense that they trusted us with their own stories in a way regarding friendships or like family, and they just felt comfortable,” Rojas said.

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Hawk News

Your donation will support the student journalists of St. Joseph's University. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
About the Contributor
Hannah Madeya
Hannah Madeya, Features Editor
Donate to The Hawk News

Comments (0)

All The Hawk News Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *