For the first time, I felt like I fit in.

When I first came to TAG, there were days I didn’t want to walk through the door. My parents really wanted me to join because I’m home-schooled and I don’t get to be around other kids very much.

It was really hard at TAG in the beginning, especially during circle time. I felt shy and scared. When it was my turn to speak, I was afraid. I was sure the other girls would judge me or not like me. I wanted to hide. What I soon discovered was that other girls in the group were also struggling with issues – just like me. They had things they were anxious and scared about too. And they were interested in what I had to say. For the first time in my life, I felt like I fit in.

What I discovered was that other girls in the group were also struggling with issues – just like me. Ciara, TAG leader

A few years ago I started to struggle with anxiety. If it weren’t for TAG, I’m not sure where I would be. My TAG friends and teachers like Rosemary helped me figure out ways I could overcome my anxiety, like deep breathing, positive thoughts and focusing on the good stuff. I still struggle with it, but now I have friends who help me through it. TAG has also given me amazing opportunities. I started in TAG when I was 10. Now I’m in the TAG Leaders program and learning how to be a positive role model to the younger TAG girls. I’m more confident and I want to help other girls be more confident too.

Recently I had another amazing opportunity. I had the chance to make a speech to a group of people during the Candlelight Walk for Peace. I actually got up and talked to people I didn’t even know. I never would have been able to do that before, but now I’m more comfortable with putting myself out there.

TAG has changed my life. No matter what else happens, I know that I’ll always have a place to belong and people who believe in me.

– Ciara