“How are you going to make your dream come true,” asked Jamilla Shepperson, teacher for the “Girls ROCK Self-Esteem Workshop.”
The workshop was held last week for middle school girls at the North Wilkesboro Housing Authority. Ten girls participated in the four-day program.
Ms. Shepperson helped each girl begin planning long range goals, articulating what steps were needed to achieve their goal. Discussion, role playing, journal writing, and more were used to help each participant.
Becoming a veterinarian was a dream for one of the girls. She had written on a poster board several reasons why she wanted to be a vet.
“I want to become a vet to help animals and make money. I believe I can achieve this goal.”
Tasks to achieve her goal were also listed.
“I will continue to have good grades, finish high school and college. I need money and to work at a vet office, study and support,” were written on the board.
Enthusiasm and much discussion accompanied each of the activities. Role-playing was a favorite activity for the group.
Encouraging and creating a positive self-image and handling peer pressure were key topics of discussion.
Navigating the sometimes confusing waters of adolescence seemed to be a prime focus of the workshop. Each day ended with a huddle and then the chant of “We are Fabulous.”
“We are working to encourage and inspire preteen/adolescent girls to help build self-esteem, enhance social skills and foster creative expression and maintain healthy relationships,” said Ms. Shepperson.
A variety of topics were covered during the four-day workshop. Topics were; encouraging self-esteem, creating a positive self-image, handling peer pressure and planning for the future.
Each day included an icebreaker activity to make the girls feel at ease and a discussion and activity related to the topic.
Negative ways females can be portrayed was discussed during the “creating a positive self image” portion of the workshop. Collages were made celebrating positive role models.
The girls were presented certificates for completing the workshop on Friday.
The workshop was part of the North Wilkesboro Housing Authority (NWHA) summer program for children. It also sponsors after-school programs during the school year.
Ages in the summer program range from kindergarten to eighth grade. They attend different times and days according to their ages. Activities include swimming, games and workshops such as the “Girls ROCK! Self-Esteem Workshop.”
Ms. Shepperson, teacher for the workshop, is with Earthbound Community Group, a consulting firm in Winston-Salem.
Also assisting with the program were Nickie Brady, resident coordinator for the North Wilkesboro Housing Authority, Sue S. Davidson, a coordinator with the North Wilkesboro Housing Authority and Greta Ferguson, teacher.