In commemoration of October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month, Working on Womanhood (WOW) students took part in a number of discussions and special activities that stressed the importance of the Healthy Relationships core value emphasized in the program’s curriculum. Students at Bronzeville Scholastic Institute studied the story of Bresha Meadows, who after suffering years of extreme abuse was incarcerated at the age of 14 for taking the life of her father. WOW students wrote letters to Bresha, shared their own stories of domestic and interpersonal violence and explored the importance of healthy relationships in their own lives.
Bronzeville WOW Counselor Veronica Bohanan described her students’ letters as “moving, heartfelt and full of empathy and understanding.” She also commented that while her students did not justify Bresha’s action, they understood why she felt it was her last resort. Through their work on the topic of Healthy Relationships, WOW students learn the importance of interpersonal communication, defining boundaries, reciprocity, respect, and personal safety.
Since 2011, WOW has offered young women a safe and supportive school-based space for addressing traumas, healing, building resiliency, and developing the life and leadership skills necessary for success in adulthood. WOW will serve more than 1,000 girls in 22 Chicago Public Schools this academic year.