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Meet a Girls Rise Up Match: Courtney & Peyton

March 28, 2022, Katie Huynh

A mother’s death for a young girl is often devastating, confusing, and has a life-long impact, but it doesn’t have to be lonely. We are proud to partner with She Climbs Mountains to offer Girls Rise Up, a trauma-informed mentoring program for motherless daughters. This specialized program matches an adult woman with a girl aged 8-18 together, both of whom have experienced the loss of their mothers. Girls Rise Up believes that connection with other youth motherless daughters and the presence of an adult female will make a deeply positive impact on a grieving girl’s life.

Big Sister Courtney and Little Sister Peyton are a match that demonstrates the unique power of this mentorship. Courtney shares that they both lost their mothers to addiction-related reasons. She reflects it’s helpful to have that in common since there’s more stigma surrounding this type of loss. They support each other in conversations of loss and grief and appreciate that Girls Rise Up is very intentional with bringing girls together who share and understand the same situation.

Every year, Girls Rise Up hosts their annual Mother’s Day Brunch where matches are invited to share a safe space in honoring their mothers and lived experiences. As a tradition, attendees bring photos of themselves with their mother to display in the room and participate in a “circle of remembrance” where everyone holds hands and each person in the circle says their mother’s name aloud. Courtney shares, “I am another person whose mom died too soon and just that fact helps Peyton see she is not alone in her experience. It doesn’t always feel comfortable – or at least, one can often feel like the other person may be uncomfortable about bringing up the loss or the person who died. But a big aspect of our match is that we both know that isn’t true.”

Along with navigating this loss together, the two like to make time to try new activities together like canoeing and mini-golfing. Their Match Engagement Coordinator, Kang Moua, says, “I enjoy checking in with both Peyton and Courtney monthly! It’s always a joy to hear their adventures together.” Courtney and Peyton are a great example of how a match relationship can find community through life’s hardships and truly speaks to how we are #BiggerTogether.

If you are interested in participating in the Girls Rise Up program, please visit She Climbs Mountains to apply.