Crittenton Shines a Light on the Mental Wellness of Area Girls

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Mental health during the pandemic is focus of organization’s 132nd Anniversary “Brighten the Night” Celebration on October 22

Today, Crittenton Services of Greater Washington announced that it will elevate mental health as a theme of its 132nd anniversary celebration.

"Given the serious challenges many of our 600 teen girls are experiencing during the pandemic—and in the context of the reignited fight for racial justice—we have a renewed focus on mental wellness,” said Siobhan Davenport, Crittenton’s President & CEO. "Fundraising will support the organization’s work to promote resilience and strength among our participants."

This has been an extremely challenging time. Crittenton girls report:

  • Stress and anxiety—and sadness—at the loss of in-person networks and peer groups at school.
  • Heightened stress when they encounter law enforcement in their community.
  • Additional responsibilities at home, with parents losing employment, parents who are essential workers, and siblings of all ages home from school.
  • Feeling overwhelmed by conversations about racial injustice.
  • Grieving the loss of important milestones in their lives, such as graduations, proms, and first semesters of college.

Since the start of the pandemic, additional fundraising has allowed Crittenton to provide critical supplies and support to area girls and their families, including food, formula, diapers and personal hygiene products, in addition to chromebooks that allow the girls to remain in school and with the program.

Crittenton staff have worked hard to maintain connections with all of the programs' girls during the pandemic. Although the organization's programs are school-based, Crittenton has pivoted to an online model with virtual versions of all 24 student groups.

"It is crucial that we meet the needs of our girls to ensure that they have the resources and support to continue their leadership and advocacy work,” said Davenport, "strengthening our communities today and into the future."

At the October 22 event, Crittenton will present Leadership Awards to four extraordinary women:
Kathy Grillo, Senior Vice President, Verizon Communications, Public Policy and Government Affairs; Virginia Kase, CEO of the League of Women Voters of the US; Dr. LaQuandra Nesbitt, Director of the District of Columbia Department of Health, and Maria Otero, Former Under Secretary of State for Civilian Security, Democracy and Human Rights.

“Each of these women has made a significant difference for black and brown girls in our region,” said Davenport. “We honor them for their leadership and commitment to this cause we hold so dear."
The celebration will also feature pre-event networking, inspiring presentations by current and alumnae Crittenton girls, and music from Grammy nominee and Crittenton board member Aaron Meyers.

Crittenton Services of Greater Washington works with some of the most vulnerable teen girls in Washington, DC, and Montgomery County, MD. Our mission is to ensure that every teen girl—independent of race, ethnicity, and family income—has the support, knowledge, and skills she needs to thrive.

Since 1983, our school-based programs have served more than 9,000 teen girls. The results have been life-changing: Crittenton girls are staying in school, avoiding pregnancy, becoming leaders in their schools and communities, graduating from high school, and going on to college and rewarding careers.

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