I was lucky to attend the Passion to Purpose Bootcamp in March. At this event I had the opportunity to hear about several successful projects, and this inspired me to lead my own. I came home planning to organize a day of self-esteem workshops for 40 youth. A few weeks after, everything locked down for COVID, and I decided to put my project on hold. During lockdown I began noticing that youth needed the topics that I wanted to focus on, such as resilience and setting boundaries, more than ever. I decided to contact an organization that I had worked with extensively before, ShEvalesco, and they were happy to organize workshops for the girls. Alison from ShEvalesco and I put together 4 weeks of workshops around topics such as resilience, assertive communication and mindfulness. The goal of my project was to help youth feel more comfortable around these topics, as well as create a community where they could connect with others during the pandemic. We divided the youth into two groups, a 12-15 age group and a 16-18 age group. These are all topics that I feel are so important for youth to learn, and that I wish I was able to learn when I was in high school. All youth who completed all four workshops were given a certificate of completion, a crest and a workbook to continue learning about the topics we had covered.
At the end of the workshop we sent out a feedback form and received so many wonderful comments that showed me that I really did achieve what I set out to do. Here are some examples:
“This program has helped me feel more confident and resilient in many ways. I think that through the learning of each workshop I learned things that can be used in multiple scenarios. I think that things like learning about failure, boundary setting and being assertive are great skills to have because they allow you to communicate clearly with others and allow you to not be so hard on yourself. The self care workshop is also really helpful going forward to remember to take time for yourself.”
“Using the skills I have learned, such as being told that it’s okay to fail and make mistakes, and that we will not be good at something the first time we try it, it made me confident to take my test next week.”
“These workshops have given me more confidence because I now feel as though I’m not the only one who struggles with these common problems. I also enjoyed learning new skills that I can use in my everyday life.”