Raquel, an eighth-grade student and actress with The Athena Project, attended the GirlsLinked Conference on May 3 sponsored by the Denver Office of Women & Families. Here are her reflections on the day.
The GirlsLinked event was a great experience. The morning started with a play written by a 9th grade student Delaney and performed by me and other girls from the Athena Project. The play was about an issue that most students face; bullying.
Next, a guest speaker, Jill Tietjen P.E., spoke to the auditorium full of girls grades 6 – 12 about many of the women who changed America. She inspired us to live our lives with passion, determination, and persistence.
The atmosphere was full of energy and we were all ready to attend the workshops that were set for the day. I was able to attend two workshops both were very inspiring. The first workshop, “Visioning Myself” presented by Ms. Elma was about envisioning myself as a young lady. They talked about how to present oneself in a way that people would see you the way you see yourself. The first activity we did was looking into a mirror asking what we saw. When she talked she was very inspiring and she would say don’t let others define you. She also spoke about building confidence in yourself. I think girls these days need to build these skills to help them in life.
The second workshop I was able to go to was called, “Growing up girl: surviving the drama.” This workshop given by Jill Pond was about not resorting to the hate out in the world and self-harming by cutting etc. The work shop also talked about other ways to let out anger. Another thing this workshop talked about was [the female] reproductive system and how it could be scary for young girls to experience their period and what to except and why we have our period. The girls in this workshop looked like they were mostly in there preteens and most of the girls seemed uncomfortable talking about these things. I feel that even though it can be embarrassing to talk about periods and the reproductive system, it’s good to have a safe place to talk and ask questions.
Society puts a lot of pressure on young girls today and having positive role models and empowering events like the GirlsLinked, helps to inspire me and other girls to make good choices for our future. It was a great day and I am happy I got to be a part of it.