Power of Being a Girl
YWCA Niagara is hosting it’s 11th Annual Power of Being a Girl conference within the region.
Many events lose interest of the community and participants after that many years, but this conference remains popular. Why? Maybe it has to do with the powerful impact it has on the grade 10 girls from all over the region who participate.
Throughout the years, the event has touched many lives. One of the speakers in previous years explained that at one of the conferences, some of the girls came up to her individually to self-disclose issues they have felt including thoughts of suicide and the difference the day had made to them. 12 girls that day felt empowered enough to find positives in their lives, things to look forward to as well as to speak about it. That’s some of the differences these events can make.
As huge a success as that story is, Power of Being a Girl has also inspired girls to discuss body image issues, negative feelings of loneliness. The discomfort most girls face during the ups and downs of teenage years. Some students have said:
“I felt alone and isolated. I was living in everyone’s shadow,” she said of the difficulties she once had but has since overcome. “Now I want to help others get out of the shadow and let their light shine.” – St. Catharines Standard
More participants said:
“Your skin is the costume. Your personality is the beauty,” she says.
“If you keep trying to be what society thinks is perfect, you’ll never experience peace.
“You’re always chasing.” – St.Catharines Standard
The conference gives girls a safe place where they can check in with themselves and realize they are not alone in their feelings. They have the chance to ban together and encourage confidence in each other.
“At first, I was really nervous. And then I realized, we’re all girls here,”
“Everyone has flaws. They have to learn to love those flaws. They have to learn to love themselves.”
“Really, really good. Made me proud to be a woman.”
“My favourite part was knowing that I’m worth something and finding strengths I never thought I had.”
This year’s conference speaks to healthy relationships. We have no idea what’s truly in store for these participants in terms of revelations but we sure look forward to exploring them. If it’s anything like the last ten years, it will be a huge success, change the lives of so many.