Leading by Example: A GEM Leader Shines

Diverse happy girls playing outside and creating healthy habits

The Jordan Sisters: (l-r) Ny’Ashia, Timmea, and Timyra serve as youth leaders in the GEM program.

When Timmea Jordan, 14, applied to be part of a new “Middle School Girl Leadership Council” in early 2020, she was intrigued by the prospect of becoming a mentor to other girls and the opportunity to work with girls her age on a statewide project to promote health and fitness.

The pandemic made it impossible for the girls to meet in person, but they did not let this stop them. Instead, the Council collaborated through weekly Zoom meetings. Every aspect of the program, from the name, logo design, and program resources were brainstormed, conceptualized, and with the help of a design team, created by the girls during these high-energy meetings.

“It’s exciting to see how all of our ideas came together to create GEM and how it’s impacting so many girls in Georgia. We created a program for all girls. GEM motivates them to work together to reach their goals and feel more confident about themselves because they are understood and respected.”

As the second eldest of nine siblings, Timmea realizes her actions can have an impact on others, “I know that I can be a positive role model to my sister and help educate them because I was one in their place,” says Timmea. She also values the personal growth that she has experienced as a GEM statewide leader, “It’s given me a chance to grow my leadership skills, become more and social.”

When Timmea’s sisters, Timyra, 12 and Ny’Ashia, 13, heard they could participate as GEM Ambassador Leaders at their local Boys and Girls Club in Albany, GA, they were eager to join their sister in the program.

“I knew I wanted to be involved in GEM because it’s important for girls our age to be healthy as they get older and go into high school,” says Ny’Ashia.

The two younger Jordan sisters attended the virtual GEM Summit in summer 2020 along with over 200 other GEM Ambassador Leaders. As with all things GEM, the girls led. Girls co-facilitated every session, developed content and recorded introduction videos.

Timyra recalled the experience, “I enjoyed getting to know a lot of other girls. I learned more about the program and how to be a leader for our group.” Now serving in that role, Timyra appreciates the lessons learned from Timmea, “She set a good example by being a leader in GEM and I hope to be just like her.”

Girls Empowering Movement (GEM) is on a mission to improve the health and well-being of middle school girls by empowering them to lead the development of physical activity programs designed by girls, for girls. HealthMPowers is spearheading the five-year GEM program in conjunction with other implementation partners, and convenes the GEM Leadership Team, a statewide youth leadership council that drives the programs voice and vision. Read more about GEM’s impact in our latest Annual Report.