As a mother of a middle school daughter we have already negotiated the “mean girls,” the first “boyfriend,” and subsequent ending of the relationship as well as the evolution of old friendships and new ones, so I was excited to learn about the Power Up Girls For Life Program offered through the Youth Empowerment Group to girls in Weld County.
The Power Up Girls For Life curriculum is broken into four main topics and each session within the topic uses a combination of presentation, group activity and discussion for teaching.
Topic one on self esteem and body image discusses tools for building both a healthy self-esteem and body image as well as things that can be destructive to image and self esteem. Power up Girls doesn’t shy away from topics that parents sometimes struggle to discuss with kids like sexism and rejecting a sexualized female identity. This impressed me because these aren’t topics that girls have a lot of access to unless parents bring it up and kids are willing to engage in discussion.
In session two girls learn about coping with emotions, stress, and solving problems. Additional sessions focus on understanding the relationship between thoughts feelings and actions, an important connection that most middle school girls are just beginning to be aware of.
Next, girls learn about depression anxiety and self-harm and recognizing signs in self and others. The impact and role of media are discussed and the session closes with tools for coping and asking for help.
The third session discusses a topic that is at the center of middle school life, RELATIONSHIPS, specifically healthy ones! But this topic also covers dealing with conflict when relationships aren’t healthy and navigating the tricky world of social media. In the final session bullying, equality and safety are addressed. This session is incredibly comprehensive and delves into sexting, sexual harassment and sexism, addressing bullying and even what to do as a bystander to bullying. The program even discusses healthy eating for empowering health.
Powerupgirlsforlife.org is a great resource for sessions information, location and what is included in the program. Events happen locally around Weld County and you can even apply to host a workshop at your school or venue. Groups are led by young women mentors and meant to be engaging and experiential. For more information you can email firstname.lastname@example.org
The Women’s Clinic is a proud sponsor of Power Up Girls For Life an 501 (c)3 non-profit organization that provides 5th and 6th grade girls, or “tweens” empowerment through group learning and engagement. Power Up Girls for Life “Prepares tweens to triumph over today’s threats to mental health, equality, safety, and success with a fun active learning experience!”
About the author:
Jennifer Hoover is a maternal-child health specialist, board certified lactation consultant, childbirth educator and writer for The Women’s Clinic of Northern Colorado.