La'Shante said the transformation occurred because of Arroyo Valley High School outreach worker Margaret Spencer and the LADIES club.
started LADIES - Learning And Developing Intellectually, Emotionally and Socially - in January to develop and cultivate self-esteem among teenage girls, especially African Americans. Spencer
, or "Ma" as she
is called by many of the teens, said she
got tired of seeing girls disrespect themselves by showing off their bodies, getting pregnant and fighting with each other.And being a single mother of five, three of whom are girls, Spencer
understood that sometimes they just need a place to express their feelings.
Many people believe the girls have anger problems, but that's really not the case, Spencer
"The real problem is hurt and disappointment," she
said."But it then develops into anger and frustration."
So the hope, she
said, was to provide an outlet where the girls could discuss their feelings.
...The club's adviser, Margaret Spencer, is at the right.
"What happens in LADIES stays in LADIES, unless it is going to be harmful to themselves or someone else," Spencer