While I can’t pick my daughters’ friends for them, I do try to help my girls grow up with smart, healthy, and interesting women as role models. You know, not the ones whose biggest life advice has to do with how to take a great selfie. So, I’m really interested in the new monthly club for girls, the TIA Girl Club — TIA stands for Today I Am . It was was designed by mom Vanessa Schenck to help tweens 8 to 13 navigate those tricky years with advice and inspiration from wonderful, successful women in a whole range of fields.
The club is built around the notion that girls should use their voices to stand up for what they believe in and to carve out their own niches in this world. Membership essentially entails purchasing a one-time only Welcome Kit or a monthly subscription to the TIA Girl Club Treasure Box, which features a different female role model, or “Trailblazer,” each month.
So far, the role models include filmmaker Sarah Moshman; Olympian Chantae McMillan; food writer, author and entrepreneur Amanda Hesser; principal dancer Ashley Bouder of the New York City Ballet, and Emily Reid, Director of Education at Girls Who Code.
The boxes also include lots of little trinkets and printed words of inspiration — nice things to have around their rooms instead of oh, some Katy Perry lyrics.
My own tween daughter loved her small hummingbird charm necklace which, as the enclosed welcome booklet states, is supposed to remind her to use positive words and think empowering thoughts, even when things are going all wrong. And if you have also have a 12-year-old girl, you know that happens all too often.
But what I think is the most exciting part, is that girls not only learn about each Trailblazer, they have the unique experience of actually interacting with them through a live webcast each month. Here, the TIA Girl Club members have a chance to ask questions and receive first-hand advice from the women they’ve read about.
Now while there’s a lot of diversity in terms of what these outstanding women do, I hope we’ll see a little more diversity in terms of their backgrounds. The TIA club, from the looks of their website, seems to do a good job of reaching out to all kinds of girls (or at least those who can afford the welcome kit) but I’d think that more racial diversity would help bring more girls into the fold. Because it’s such a cool way for our girls to hear the advice of women who have worked so hard to succeed, but still remember what it’s like to be their age, and it will be even more meaningful when the women have backgrounds that might be similar to the girls they’re speaking to.
It would also be fabulous to have those webinars saved digitally, so that members who miss the live feeds can still have access to them.
I also hope that the club actually develops into more of a real life community, the way Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls has through social media. There is a bit of a social community via the TIA Girl Club Instagram feed, which your daughter might like checking out to see just who else is on this journey with her.
(There’s also a Facebook page, but that’s a bit of a challenge considering Facebook is only supposed to be for kids 13 and older.)
Still, I think this is a potentially huge platform and I’m hoping that the treasure boxes and the access to the Trailblazers are just the starting place for lots of girls in need of real-life inspiration.
Sign up for the TIA Girl Club either through their Welcome Kit or monthly Treasure boxes. Tweens can also sign up to their Instagram page for additional motivational messages and photos. Thanks to the company for sending a sample Welcome Kit for review.