Reflection: By Chelsea 2007

I am a first year member of Excellence Girl's Club. It is my pleasure to share with you some of my experiences during the past year. When I first was asked to become an Excellence Girl's Club member I was uncertain if I should be a member because of all the things I heard about the club, but I thought I would give it a try. I had the opportunity to participate in the car wash where I met a few of the girls and felt really comfortable. So, I started to attend regular meetings, but still was unsure what to expect from the other members. The following month I had the opportunity to go on the senior retreat which was a great experience with the cramped log cabin with at least 10 other seniors, 3 small beds, with plenty of food, stories and fun, where I really began to open up. From then on, the every Thursday meetings I began to talk, joined the mentorship, and really felt the connection with my sisters. Another outing we went on was the beach house retreat in North Carolina. There we had a lot of fun and did things that we will be taking to the grave, and I really got closer with my sisters. If it wasn't for you girls opening up your hearts to me, I wouldn't have had a great senior year. From your words of encouragement and advice, to the descriptive poems you shared, to wearing the pink shirts around school, I really felt like I was part of something great, a real sisterhood. Last but not least I want to thank the sponsors especially Mrs. Madison. I want to thank you all for all of the things you have done for me, whether in the club, at school, with your words of encouragement, letters of recommendation, or with your honesty (whether I wanted to hear it or not). It has made me a better person. I will think of all of you as I take the first step in pursuing my dream.

Reflection: By Aeisha, 2006

I remember when we had the retreat. At first I didn't want to go because I was afraid that I wouldn't get to know anyone and I didn't think I'd have any fun. I thought that I'd just sit in the background and be a loaner, but it didn't happen like that! Once we got to the cottage some of the girls that I've never spoken to before tried to get to know me. I'm a really quiet person and it's hard to hold a conversation with me because I've always had this invisible wall around me shutting out everyone who tried to talk to me, but once I started talking I got to know each girl of excellence better. When it was time for us to end the retreat, I really didn't want to leave because I had so much fun. Excellence Girl's Club taught me not to be afraid to be myself and that's what made this club very important to me.

Reflection: By Jessica, 2005

I am a senior this year here at Woodside High. I am a member of what I think is the best organization ever. Many people envy me because they haven‘t had the chance to do what I've done and see what I've seen in this club. I have been a member of Excellence Girl's Club for 3 years. Being a member has molded me to the person I am today. Now that I am graduating and going to college I feel more prepared than ever because of the skills I've learned and experiences I've had. I have gained leadership skills, connected with youth by mentoring at South Morrison Elementary School and volunteered for the Afram and Newport News Children's Festivals. I have also been able to learn how to gain new friendships that I probably would have never had. Now I'm not going to lie. We stayed after every Thursday and I was tired and even thought about trying to find a way to get our of coming to club, but I always went and they never ceased to amaze me because when I went I had a great time and I was happy I went and didn't miss out. I would like to thank Mrs. Madison for never giving up on me. Mrs. Cohen, I thank you for always being there and informing me about what was going on in my life. You are like a sister I never had and I will never forget you. This is not a group or a club. This is a sisterhood that has changed my life. This has been a long 4 years and now my high school life is over. I'll never forget any of you and thank you for allowing me to be part of this sisterhood.

Reflection: By Shemyal 2004

As I stand here and reflect on the past 3 years that I have participated in Excellence Girl's Club, I can remember both the good times and the bad. I remember everything like it was yesterday, form the laughter to the crying and I realize we have all been through a lot together. We have also grown as a group as well as within ourselves. I've learned so much, experienced new things, and been places that I wouldn't have on my own. I probably would not have even known about half the places or programs that I could use to better myself if it was not for Mrs. Madison bringing me into the group. My heart would not allow me to do anything except participate because I knew that it was to open my mind to more of the things I could do rather than the things I could not. Being in this club has changed my life for the better and I know all the things I have experienced will help me in the long run. Now I feel I am ready to take on the world. I feel I have been privileged for all the people that I have met, especially the people that have helped me through my high school career. I am also very thankful to all the girls for accepting me for who I am and treating me as a sister or good friend. I will never forget these past 3 years and all the people I've met. I love you all and I will miss you guys and I hope to see you all again in the near future.