Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Girl Power!!

Greetings everyone! Nicole here, and I want to wallop into your mind for a few.

Let your eyes ride on my words, and I will tell you a story of some of the most brilliant, confident-eyed, future adults to be. What am I talking about? I'm talking about the WE ARE GIRLS CONFERENCE!

Do you know what the “We Are Girls Conference” is? It is an explosion of all girls in one place. So much craziness, so much fun! So much to scream about! For the convenience of your busy lives though, I will communicate the details in a brief fashion.

WHO PRESENTED: The Opening Minds, Opening Doors team (which consisted of): Myself, Sharizod Aboii, Shaniqua Esparza, and Kamand Alaghehband.

OUR HELPERS: Kasera, Lindsey (our very eager We Are Girls volunteer assistant), and Sheila (Sharizod’s mom).

WHAT WE PRESENTED: Girl Talk: I’m Already Different, Now I Have to Grow Up?

TO: 3rd-5th and 6th-8th grade girls

Here was our workshop description for the event: You coming or what? We’re about to get crazy on “Girl Talk,” a live talk show performance with girls that have already been there and done that. If you’re brave enough, you can be a guest on the show and share the good, the bad, and the ugly about growing up. And if that’s not your style, then submit the questions you are afraid to ask because we aren’t scared to answer them! No parents allowed!

The wonderful women of "Girl Talk," poised and ready.
From left to right: Kamand, Shaniqua, Nicole, and Sharizod.
For Girl Talk, we told stories of times we felt embarrassed, challenged, cool, and confident along with a variety of experiences around bullying. We had many questions and comments from the girls in our workshop.

Next, we did an activity called “I feel awesome when…” where each girl shared their name, an adjective to describe herself, and a time she feels awesome. My example: I am Neato-Torpedo Nicole, and I feel awesome when I write a poem and say it at an open mic.

And finally, we played the “Friending Game,” much like the Dating Game, only in this version the contestants got to interview potential friends. This went over really well with the 3rd-5th grade group.

WHEN WE PRESENTED: Saturday, November 14th, 2015

WHERE WE PRESENTED: The 8th Annual Statewide WE ARE GIRLS Conference, which was held at Austin High School. Their theme this year: Tell Your Story.

WHY IN THE WORLD DID WE DO THIS? Because we are girls too, and we want to give all girls the encouragement they need to achieve their every goal!

INTERESTING STUFF THAT HAPPENED: It was a sold-out conference. That meant we had to be ready for full capacity (25-30 girls) in our workshop.

The clock was ticking! It was five minutes 'til our first presentation, and there were only two kids in our room! I was starting to worry. Our competition? An improv group from the Hide Out Theater next door. UGGGG!


What happened after that? It paid off! We got 25-30 girls per session. We also got lots of laughs from parents, counselors, advisors, and girls. Really though, we were a team! We all had our special talents to add to the mix! Sharizod was brilliant and patient answering the girls' questions. Kamand helped set up the room and went around with Shaniqua and I to market ourselves. Shaniqua was a kick butt host for “Girl Talk” and the “Friending Game.” Sheila was a complete blessing in helping girls fill out surveys and floating wherever needed. Kasera was a rock for everyone and gave helpful feedback. And I cannot forget our talented volunteer given to us by the We Are Girls Conference, Lindsey. She was invaluable in every way! What a team of synergy we had!

  • Are you guys going to be here next year?
  • When you are bullied, the right thing to do is kill them with kindness, right?
  • What is the most important thing that ever happened to you?
  • How did you get blind?
  • I liked how everyone made better choices in life.
  • Good stories.
  • Keep doing what you’re doing.
  • It was very funny.

WHAT WE LEARNED: 99% of the things we did were perfect! Is there room for improvement? Of course! Next year we will focus on two activities instead of three. That way, we will have more time for questions. My reasoning? The girls were required to fill out two We Are Girls surveys about the workshops they attended and their overall day, so this made things a little tight.

Overall, I want to thank our team for bringing it that day with their energy, light, and cheerful smiles.

Thank you GENaustin and WE ARE GIRLS for celebrating our womanhood and our future womanhood to be.


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