Community Papers

YMCA program shows South Okanagan students the Power of Being a Girl

Over 120 Grade 6 girls from South Okanagan middle schools will be in Penticton on Oct. 16 for a day of self-empowerment.

Students will take part of the community's first Power of Being a Girl Conference, a signature event of the YMCA-YWCA Okanagan, at the Penticton Trade and Convention Centre.

“We believe an event likes this is a great way to introduce to the girls a variety of programs and resources in their community. We are all looking to give these girls tools and support to make healthy and safe choices as they approach their teens,” said Liz Gomes South Okanagan Women In Need Society child counselor.

The conference includes a series of workshops focusing on a variety of issues including self-esteem, healthy relationships, personal safety, story sharing by inspirational women and giving girls tools for healthy self-expression. The Power of Being a Girl conference is in its seventh year in Kelowna and received attention from other communities that have requested the program travel to other school districts. This year the help of a one-time grant, as well as a partnership with SOWINS, the conference was able to travel to Penticton.

“The growing enthusiasm around the conference from educators and counselors says to us that there is a strong need for girls to feel championed by their community,” said Coreen Hobson, YMCA children and family director. “We feel lucky to have this chance to bring the conference to Penticton even if it is only this year.”

The conference runs during the YWCA Week Without Violence. More than 17,000 people in schools, workplaces and neighbourhood organizations throughout Canada recognize this annual violence prevention initiative aimed at making violence a thing of the past.

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