On June 26th, La Casaâ€™s Teen Program kicks off its annual Summer Scrapbook Project, bringing together girls between the ages of 13-18 from various Bay Area high schools.Â At its core, the Scrapbook Project provides a safe place for teen girls to express themselves and tell their story.Â The girlsâ€™ groupâ€”which will meet twice a week through early Augustâ€”uniquely blends education and exploration with self-expression, fun, and friendship-building.
Based at La Casaâ€™s Drop In Center, the Scrapbook Project engages girls from all over the city in workshops and fieldtrips that encourage thinking and discussion about themes like family history and relationships, peer and dating relationships, self-esteem, and societal messages about love and gender roles.Â The girls also gain exposure to various means of self-expression like drawing, writing, collage, and photography.
For some of the girls who participate, domestic or teen dating violence has been a very real part of their young lives.Â For all participants, the Scrapbook Project provides an opportunity to build awareness of these issues towards the development of healthy relationships.Â La Casa staff member Margot Vinson, one of the programâ€™s facilitators, has observed a frequent evolutionâ€”teens who start the program seeming very shy or withdrawnâ€¦.who soon begin to build lasting connections, opening up within the group.Â Sometimes, the girls share with the advocates profound experiences of learning and growth.
Margot remembers a participant who came into the program feeling dejected and without options. Â She shared that she had seen a lot of gang activity and violence in her community, and felt that this would always be a big part of her life. Â After her experiences in the program, she shared that she now felt able to see more options and a safer future for herself.Â The support, learning, and new experiences she gained through the Scrapbook Project had given her confidence that she could choose a different path.
The Scrapbook Project takes girls out into San Francisco for fieldtrips like a museum visit and a tour of the Mission Districtâ€™s many muralsâ€”providing windows onto different types of self-expression through the arts.Â Workshopsâ€”on topics like photography and creative writingâ€”give the girls opportunities to learn new skills and explore their interests.Â On the last day, a closing visit to a seaside home provides an opportunity for reflection on the time spent together, letter-writing among newfound friends, scrapbook sharing, and goodbyes.
The Scrapbook Project provides participants with all supplies, including scrapbooks, disposable cameras, photo printing, and art materials. Â If you have arts and crafts supplies that youâ€™d like to contribute to help make this possible, please email !Â For questions or to register a teen for the Scrapbook Project, please call our Teen Program at 415-503-0500.Â And read more about La Casaâ€™s full continuum of services for teens here!