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Gyrls in the H.O.O.D Foundation believes that a gyrls worth isn't measured by her zip code. There are plenty of gyrls across the city that are shattering the stereotypes of what it means to live in the "hood". Our gyrls are H.O.O.D...HEALTHY OPTIMISTIC OUTSTANDING and DETERMINED!

Tag a teenage gyrl (13-19) in Chicagoland and ask her to enter our Shattering Stereotypes poetry contest.

Email your short or long poem to [email protected] Include your name/school/age/picture.

Cash prizes, award show recognition, and social media spotlights.

Get to writing!

H.O.O.D Talk

An ongoing series of dialogue from our Founder.

Innovative Gyrls In The H.O.O.D Foundation launches #PROTECTYOURCOOKIE Campaign

October 11th 2019


. The International Day of the Girls was created to recognize girls rights and the unique challenges girls face around the world. Gyrls in the H.O.O.D Foundation is observing the occasion by re-launching our #protectyourcookie campaign in response to the recently released Center for Disease Control report which cites a steep increase in incidence of sexually transmitted diseases in the United States.

The report states that for the fifth consecutive year, combined cases of gonorrhea, chlamydia and syphilis have risen with infections nearing 2.4 million cases each year, up 30% in 5 years. According to CDC data, congenital syphilis cases rose 40% between 2017 and 2018, with deaths from the condition rising by 22%.

The most concerning section of this discouraging report for me is that rates of reported cases tended to be highest among adolescent and young adults. This really hits home for us because our participants make up that demographic. 

It's estimated that young people ages 15 to 24 acquire half of all new STD cases and 1 in 4 sexually active adolescent girls has an STD, according to the report.

The CDC report tells me that, while we are on the right track of educating girls about sexual health through our “Degrees B4 Diapers” program it’s time for us to increase our community outreach efforts and be more innovative in our approach.. So in observance of International Day of the Girl, we are re-launching our “Protect Your Cookie” campaign. This campaign aims to encourage girls to protect their reproductive health by increasing their awareness of sexually transmitted infections, providing them with free condoms(and cookies), and linking them to neighborhood clinics that provides testing. Gyrls In The H.O.O.D Foundation embarks to impact 100 girls before December 31st 2019 with this initiative. Using delicious cookies as a conversation starter and treat, Chez and team will connect with youth outside of local high schools. Most youth are unaware that they are able to access STI testing and treatment without parental consent

I believe that report should serve as a wake-up call that community-based organizations in Chicago need increased funding for sexually transmitted disease prevention efforts. It’s important that resources are geared directly towards the populations that are disproportionately affected, which are minority youth. Chicago’s girls on the South and West Side face unique barriers such as poverty, drug use, stigma, and crime that can reduce access to STD prevention and care. It is our Foundation’s belief that all teenage girls have the right to #protecttheircookie by accessing nonjudgmental health care in their own communities. We are going to help them do just that, one cookie at a time. PERIOD

If you would like to book a #protectyourcookie session at your school, church, or event. Email us at [email protected]