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WomenSource program to help empower girls, enlighten moms

Sessions will cover finance, body image and communication

POSTED: August 15, 2011 1:30 a.m.

Ordinarily, WomenSource staff are busy planning events for adults, but this week they’re focused on Girl Power.

Although that may sound like the name of a Spice Girls’ CD, it’s actually the title for a WomenSource event on Saturday.

The purpose of Girl Power is to "help teen girls explore ways to better self-esteem, encourage them to lead a confident, healthy lifestyle and to empower them to take charge of their future."

The idea for Girl Power came directly from feedback organizers received from surveys conducted at other WomenSource programs.

"A lot of the surveys we got back said that many of our programs would benefit teens, but they couldn’t come because the times we offer them are during the school day," said Robyn Lynch, WomenSource programming committee chairwoman.

"So we knew that at some point we wanted to do an event on the weekend, so that we could reach out to the teens."

Girl Power will be held from 8:45 a.m. to 1 p.m. at The Oaks at Lanier Charter Career Academy, 2723 Tumbling Creek Road, Gainesville. The event is free and open to the public, but attendees must pre-register by Thursday through the WomenSource website.

The event is for teen girls "and the women who love them, be it their mother, grandmother, aunt or mentor." Teens must be accompanied by an adult.

There will be breakout sessions throughout the day where topics like finance, job preparation, internet vigilance and healthy dating relationships will be discussed.

The teens will be split into one group, while their adult counterparts will in a separate group discussing the same issues, just from a different perspective.

"One of the breakout session topics is communication. A lot of times, communication between mothers and daughters breaks down during the teenage years," Lynch said.

"So we will have a psychologist talking to the teens about the importance of keeping those lines of communication open and then someone else will be talking to the mothers about how to talk to their teen girls."

Event organizers are also planning to tackle another, sometimes touchy, topic between mothers and daughters — body image.

"We’re going to have a physician talk to the girls about healthy body images and proper nutrition, and then we’ll have someone else talk to the mothers separately about how to approach those topics with their teen," Lynch said.

The topics for the breakout sessions came from the survey responses and also from talking to mothers of teenage girls, organizers say.

Saturday’s event will also include door prizes and a catered lunch.

WomenSource is a nonprofit organization that hosts a variety of events each year that are geared toward helping women "achieve personal and professional success."

Signature WomenSource events include the Power of the Purse fundraiser, which is coming up on Sept. 15, and the monthly Brown Bag Lunch series.



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