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Growing Up Powerful: Ep 2. A Meeting of Minds

Join BFFs Asha and Jestine as they try to figure out this wild thing called life. On this episode, Asha and Jestine learn how to be more compassionate with each other with the help of socio-emotional learning consultant, Aline Topjian.

This is episode 2 of our Growing Up Powerful miniseries! These are stories about dealing with big feelings, growing up, and connecting to the world around you. And just so you know, some of these themes may be mature for our younger Rebels. We encourage listening with your grown up.

This podcast is a production of Rebel Girls. It’s based on the book Rebel Girls: Growing Up Powerful. This series was produced by Joy Smith, Deborah Goldstein, and Haley Dapkus, with sound design and mixing by Mumble Media. It was written and edited by Abby Sher. Fact-checking by Joe Rhatigan and sensitivity read by Schuyler Swenson. Narration by Margaret Ying Drake as Asha and Imani Parks as Jestine. Original theme music was composed and performed by Elettra Bargiacchi. Our executive producers were Joy Smith and Jes Wolfe. Thank you to the whole Rebel Girls team who make this podcast possible. Stay rebel!


JESTINE: Welcome to Growing up Powerful with Rebel Girls!

ASHA: I’m Asha.

JESTINE: I’m Jestine.

ASHA: And we’re still two best friends trying to figure out this thing called life.

JESTINE: Asha and I just finished day two of high school track tryouts, which – I’m not gonna lie – was pretty intense.

ASHA: I’d say brutal.

JESTINE: Just let it go. You’re totally faster than all those girls You’ll definitely make the team. 

ASHA: Can we just…

JESTINE: Who’s the coolest in every way? A to S to H to the A!

ASHA:  Please stop.

JESTINE: She’s smart and she’s funny. Her nose is never runny.

ASHA: Jestine! 

JESTINE: She’s my bestie and she’s zesty.

ASHA: Enough!

JESTINE: (a little stunned) Whoa. Somebody’s in a mood.

ASHA: (calmer) I’m not in a mood, I’m just…It’s been a tough day, okay? You know what?

[Puts on her ear headphones.]

JESTINE: Um, Asha?

ASHA:  Forget it.

[Loud head-banging music cuts her off]

 JESTINE:  Asha! Why are you putting on your headphones while I’m talking to you?

[Music volume is turned up louder  it]

JESTINE: Asha! Give me that!

Music goes off again

ASHA: (upset with J turning off her music) Hey! Do you mind?

JESTINE: I do mind, actually. Tell me what’s going on.

ASHA: I don’t feel like talking about it. 

JESTINE: You have to talk about it, it’ll make you feel better!

01 ALINE: Actually, she really doesn’t.

JESTINE & ASHA: Um, hello?

02 ALINE: Hi. I’m Aline Topjian. And this is your 

She fumbles and turns on a megaphone, screech of feedback


ASHA: What?

03 ALINE: A friendtervention! You know, an intervention to help friends help each other!

JESTINE: Oh I see what you did there. Wait! You’re one of the experts from Growing up Powerful, right? We are so in need of a friendtervention right now.

04 ALINE: That’s what I’m here for!  Well, it sounds like you care about each other a lot but you’re in very different head spaces right now. Am I right?

JESTINE: I guess. I mean, Asha had a bad day. And I was trying to cheer her up, but I just seem to be making it worse…

05 ALINE: Asha, is that what it felt like to you?

ASHA: Ummm.

06 ALINE: No wrong answers

ASHA: Well, I guess I just wanted to feel what I was feeling…on my own.

JESTINE: What? I’m confused. We’re best friends, we talk about everything, – how am I supposed to help?

07 ALINE: This is a tough position to be in too, Jestine. Let’s try flipping the roles for a minute. Can you think of a time when you were feeling low?

JESTINE: Sure. I mean, I got into a huge fight with my sister the other day and I slammed our door so hard that some of the paint came off. Then my mom got mad at me which I’m sure my sister loved, and all I wanted to do was talk to Asha but I didn’t have phone privileges and I was all aaaaagh.

Can I use this?

(grabs the reverb mic)


08 ALINE: Great example. So it sounds like when things get tough for you, you like to talk things out.

JESTINE: Definitely. I wanna hash it out and figure out what to do next. 

09 ALINE: And Asha, is that true for you too?

ASHA: I mean, not really. Mostly I just want to turn on loud music or go for a run.

10 ALINE: Okay…

ASHA: Or if I do talk about it, it’s later, when I’m ready. And I just want someone to listen to me. I don’t want people telling me what to do.


11 ALINE: Yeah, that’s a really important point. Sometimes when people are upset, they might need some time to process their feelings. Or, if they’re up for talking, they just need a friend to listen to what’s going on. Listening is actually a really active way to help someone. 

JESTINE: Okay, I get that. But what about before, Asha was just avoiding me and shutting down? What am I supposed to do then?

12 ALINE: Okay. So Jestine, maybe you could say something like, hey, if you need anything, I’m here…

JESTINE: (into the sound effects mic) I’M HEEEEERE.

ASHA: (into sound effects mic) THANK YOUUUU. I APPRECIATE IT.

13 ALINE: Now if it ever feels like your friend is going through something bigger than a bad day and you’re worried, don’t forget there are plenty of professionals like me who can help. Reach out to a parent or guardian, a school counselor…anyone you trust.

JESTINE: That makes sense.

14 ALINE: But if you think this is more about someone going through a hard time and not wanting to share it, let them know that you’re here and then when they’re ready…(sound effects mic) JUST LISTEN.

JESTINE: Sorry I called you zesty.

ASHA: I’m sorry I tried to drown you out with music.

15 ALINE: Hey! No sorry’s. It’s all a process. Friendships can get messy at times. But the more we practice, the more we learn about each other, and ourselves.

JESTINE: Thank you so much, Aline.

ASHA: Yes, (sound effects mic) THANK YOUUU.