CHARLESTOWN, Mass. --
Four female Marines from various units throughout the Marine Corps visited the Boys and Girls Club of Charlestown Tuesday to speak with young girls about leadership and having the courage to attain their goals.
In cooperation with the Junior League of Boston, the Marines volunteered to share their personal stories of endurance and success with the young club members.
“We want to expose them to positive role models and [educate them] that there are options out there for them no matter what their upbringing or current situation is,” said Lori Copeland, co-project chair for Learning Circles, a program within the Junior League.
The children, between the ages of 8 and 13, took turns asking a variety of questions and listened intently as the Marines spoke of their life and military endeavors.
“A lot of the questions surprised me,” said Sgt. Tiffany Benson, a supply administrative clerk with Marine Forces Reserve. “[The girls] were a lot more mature than I anticipated.”
Benson said she hopes her story will be an example to the young women who may find themselves in similar situations in the future.
“Hopefully, they’ll look back on my experience and what I told them about standing up for and taking care of themselves.”
During the visit, the girls were separated into teams of three for an exercise focused on leadership. Each team had to come up with six qualities a leader should possess, beginning the letters L,E,A,D,E and R. Discussing those qualities, the girls were able to get an idea of how to apply these ideals to their lives.
The Boys and Girls Club, located within one square mile of three housing development “projects," provides encouragement, positive feedback and leadership opportunities for its members, many whom are considered “at-risk” youth.
Copeland and her counterpart, Elaina Puopolo said the Marines did an excellent job of sharing their stories with the young ladies. The interaction between them will hopefully provide them with a clearer understanding of the many educational and career opportunities available to them.
In town for Marine Week Boston, the panel of Marines will visit the West End Boys and Girls Club for a similar event tonight.