Dear Ms. Starr,

My 12 year daughter who just started 6th grade comes home everyday and says that no one at school likes her, everyone hates her, and that they don’t include her. As her mom, I have talked to her teacher about this matter, and her teacher tells me that everything is fine! She says that my daughter IS included but that she chooses to sit by herself and not talk to anyone. It sounds like she is not putting herself out there, and then I hear how “horrible” life is and how everyone is mean. What do I do?


Dear Clueless!,

At one point or another, and whether or not we choose to admit it, we have all played games in our relationships. Perhaps we have sat down at an empty table to see if someone would join us. Maybe we’ve held off calling or texting someone to see if they would contact us first. Or possibly we’ve chosen to hang back from the group to see if we would be noticed and included.

GLI Camper, Lily George: Weaving a Web of Authenticity

Anneka Fagundes interviewed Lily to hear her thoughts about how GLI has helped shape the person she has become.

Over the course of three summers working at GLI, I have had the great pleasure of getting to know 8th grade camper Lily George. In some ways, it’s remarkable how little she has changed – Lily is a girl who embodies kindness, compassion, and creativity no matter what is thrown her way. On the other hand, I marvel at how Lily has grown over the years. Where I once saw a soft-spoken girl slowly weaving a web of self-discovery, I now see a confident young woman with incredible aptitude for verbal and artistic expression, and a strong sense of herself. I interviewed Lily to hear her thoughts about how GLI has helped shape the person she has become.

Dear Ms. Starr,

My daughter is in the 7th grade and has a very difficult time making friends. She tells me that although everyone in her grade likes her, no one makes an effort to hang out with her or invite her to social events outside of school. My daughter is a sweet, smart, and beautiful girl, and I am beginning to worry about how this lack of friends is affecting her. She told me recently that she feels angry and anxious. How can I help her boost her confidence and make friends?

~ Confidence Boost

Dear Confidence Boost,

Your concern and love for your daughter’s social struggle is clear and heartfelt.

Putting yourself out there is no easy undertaking. Like so many of us, girls fear rejection from their peers. Thus, many girls tend to keep themselves quiet and small, and only take the risk to reach out to others if they believe their efforts will be a guaranteed success.

Leadership on the Offensive Line

15 year-old Melissa Mark, our GLI Blogger and two year GLI Summer Camper, interviewed Kyra DiMarco about Kyra’s experience as a middle-school female football player.

You’ve just sat down to watch a football game at the Woodland School in Portola Valley, California. The players are in a huddle with their coach, reviewing plays before starting. They run out on to the field and the crowd cheers. However, this isn’t your average tackle football team. The team is all boys — …

Thoughts From a Recovering Overachiever

This is a guest post by Taryn. Taryn is a 9th grader who lives in California, where she enjoys writing, taking pictures, and watching The O.C.

“I didn’t want anyone to be able to say that there was someone else working harder than I was.” I didn’t say this, but I could have. This quote is from Demi Lovato, a Disney TV star and singer who recently got out of rehab for “eating disorder and emotional issues,” speaking in the most …