by Laurie Goodman

Did you know? One in three girls does not feel she has the opportunity for open discussion in her classes. Fifty-five percent believe that they are expected to speak softly and not cause trouble. (According to a national study conducted by Girls Inc., “The Supergirl Dilemma”)

An 11th grade, Girls Inc. member said, “We receive pressure from virtually every source: school, family, friends. We’re expected to be able to hold it all together with a perfect smile on our face, yet we rarely receive the recognition and praise for all we do. We have to fight through a world that expects us to be traditional girls, yet at the same time is telling us that we’re the next generation and we must do everything as well as boys. We are expected to do it all, but most don’t believe we can. It’s a tough world, and we got it roughest of all.”

Clearly, girls are not getting the message that their opinions or their contributions matter. It is no surprise that they are experiencing more stress, more depression, and more hopelessness than ever before.

The BLITS Foundation and Girls Inc. have found a way to empower girls to use their voices. Girls learn to make documentary films about the issues that concern them. Doc Squad is a two-week filmmaking camp designed to inspire the next generation of change makers, to help them develop their leadership skills, and to find their story-telling voice. The camp gives girls the skills to write, edit, direct, and produce their own films. The program is funded by the BLITS Foundation and taught by a teacher from the Orange County School of the Arts and OCSA students who have demonstrated exceptional talent.

The three groups of filmmakers tackled such weighty topics as substance abuse and the use of music for healing, religious tole