Motivated by an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of female students, Teacher Librarian, Karen Morrow and Student Success Lead, Jessica Francis organized a Girls Retreat event on Tuesday, June 1, 2010 Bayside Secondary School.
“I read an article in Maclean’s called "Lost Girls" and after reading it I felt motivated to hold something here at school for some of our female population. I frequently give out clothing, hygiene products and lunches to students at our school so I was already aware that a certain percentage of our girls are at risk. When I spoke with Jessica about my idea of holding a retreat she told me that she had applied for funding for such an event,” said Karen Morrow, event organizer and Teacher Librarian at Bayside Secondary School.
This thoughtful initiative was funded by the Ministry of Education’s Speak Up program and the Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board’s Student Success. The Girls Retreat had over 80 participants, consisting of grade eight students from the Bayside school group and Bayside Secondary School students.
"The retreat was a success because the young women were engaged in what they were learning about empowering themselves and making decisions that are right for them to move forward and have successful lives both academically and personally," said Jessica Francis, event organizer and Student Success Lead at Bayside Secondary School.
Throughout the day the students participated in many activities. Students were given an introduction lesson to yoga. Guest speaker from Respect in Action talked about: Speak the Truth: Empowerment for Young Women. A “Fashion on a Budget” fashion show was prepared by three girls in grade 11 fashion class. There were small group sessions with Career Edge/Youthhab about job opportunities. Christine Lavoie, a Registered Massage Therapist gave an Introduction to Massage. Hair care and style tips were provided by Salon You and manicures were given by Trenton High School Aesthetics students.
“Students were touched and motivated by the generosity of the volunteers and the people who donated items to make them feel valued and important,” said Jessica Francis.
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