ATLANTA, GA–Today Attorney General Thurbert Baker welcomed Atlanta-based Girl Talk, a national peer-to-peer mentoring program and The Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility, a national not-for-profit organization funded by distillers and dedicated to fighting drunk driving and underage drinking, for the announcement of their partnership.  Girl Talk and The Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility will work together to promote leadership and good decision-making amongst our nation’s girls. Haley Kilpatrick of Girl Talk; Ralph Blackman of The Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility; Head of School Kirk Duncan; five Upper School Girl Talk Peer Leaders and one hundred and fifty Middle School students joined Attorney General Baker at Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School in Atlanta.

“Girl Talk is a mentoring program that gives girls a strong and positive atmosphere, and I’m proud to see that they’ve joined forces with The Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility to give girls guidance so they can continue to stand tall and say ‘no’ to alcohol,” said Attorney General Baker.

A survey commissioned by The Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility revealed that mothers of teenage daughters underestimate the occurrence of underage drinking among their own daughters and misjudge the seriousness of the issue.  The survey found that nearly half of all mothers think underage drinking is acceptable in some circumstances .  

“Girls need to be informed of the toll that underage drinking can take not only on their health but also on their grades and reputations. Girl Talk is the perfect vehicle to spread this important message.   Ninety-three percent of teen girls say that drinking isn’t worth the consequences it can cause ,” said Ralph Blackman, President and CEO of The Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility.  

Girl Talk, founded in 2002 and reaching over 30,000 girls each week, is a student-to-student mentoring program that pairs middle school girls with high school girls who serve as mentors. Weekly meetings are held before or after school, during which the high school leader uses Girl Talk Lessons to address issues middle school girls face every day. Middle school girls are encouraged to share any positive news, concerns or problems they may have. The high school leaders are there to listen and to offer support and guidance when needed. Students at Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School brought the program to their campus during the 2007-08 school year and according to school officials, it has grown into one of the most popular events on the weekly calendar.

“I am proud to now have a data-driven and proven partner to work with as we educate both our Chapter Leaders and our Girl Talk Girls about the dangers of underage drinking.  The Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility is a natural fit in that their Lesson, “Choices and Consequences of Underage Drinking,” includes all the factors a girl must utilize to say no to alcohol,” said Haley Kilpatrick, Founder and Executive Director of Girl Talk.

The “Choices and Consequences of Underage Drinking” Lesson will be highlighted throughout April, Alcohol Awareness Month, in Girl Talk Chapters across the country.  The Lesson discusses the social and health consequences of underage drinking, ways to say no to alcohol, and how alcohol affects girls and boys differently.  

Beyond the “Choices and Consequences of Underage Drinking” Lesson, The Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility has developed a comprehensive program tailored specifically for teen girls and their mothers and caregivers which includes:
•    A website and blog, www.grltlk.org, for teenage girls
•    A website and brochure, www.girlsanddrinking.org, for mothers and caregivers of teenage girls which includes information on how to have the underage drinking conversation and links to additional national and local resources related to underage drinking.

Attorney General Baker added, “Georgia’s teenage girls must be strong and say no to peer pressure.  But that’s not enough.  We must also continuously communicate with these young girls about why alcohol is dangerous for their growing bodies and the specific risks alcohol has on young girls. This is why I am happy to partner with The Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility once again.”  

Girl Talk, Inc.

Girl Talk is a nationally recognized student-to-student mentoring program that offers fun, positive weekly meetings, community service projects, and friendship-building activities for middle school girls. Girl Talk is started and led by high school girls who serve as mentors, and in turn, Girl Talk Leaders develop leadership skills that they will carry with them throughout life. Girl Talk’s mission is to help young teenage girls build self-esteem, develop leadership skills, and recognize the value of community service.  To learn more about Girl Talk, please visit www.desiretoinspire.org.
Erica L. Moulton, The Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility,
(202) 637-0077 / moultone@responsibility.org