Are you Mom to a teenage daughter?
Are you looking for connection, encouragement, and tips on how to navigate these crazy teen girl years?
Then grab your camera and your coffee, and join us!
Have you ever had those moments where you think, “No way is this a coincidence!”?
Ever find yourself talking to someone and just know that you were meant to meet this person?
That’s how I felt a few weeks back when I found myself on the phone, talking with Stephanie LaBonte. A friend of mine had referred me to a website in order to connect with someone she knew had a similar business mission to mine. Five minutes into that search, I found Stephanie’s website and mission, and was so excited about our common values that I immediately reached out. Ten minutes later, we were chatting it up on the phone, giddy over the similarities in our vision, discussing ways that we could share each other’s ideas with our own tribes.
Which brings me here, with you, today. As most of you are moms to daughters, it excites me so much to share Stephanie with you. Stephanie is the creator and founder of Empowered Girls Rise, an organization that strives to nurture self-respect, confidence, and purpose in girls from middle school through college. Seriously, how awesome is that!
Why don’t I let her tell you a little bit about herself and her amazing business herself.
As a high school teacher in an urban school district, I started to notice that with social media there was an upward trend of girls bullying, cyber bullying and fighting. I really wanted to do something about this. I knew the reason why girls were increasingly being mean to one another, it was because they had low confidence, self-worth, and had not found purpose in their lives. So I made it my mission to find a solution for these girls. What I did was start to bring strong, successful and highly motivated women into my classroom to talk to the girls. I figured if it came from outside of me and our world of the classroom the girls would listen more. It started with just one woman and 30 girls in my classroom 5 years ago and blossomed to now over 200 girls per rally plus hands on workshops, incredible keynote speakers, panel discussion, breakout sessions and networking power hour.
Our mission is to nurture self-respect, confidence and purpose in girls ages 11-25 through education, personal development, mentorship and community. I want to help girls globally to find their purpose and connect them with community members that will help them develop and thrive. We do this through Girls Movement Rallies (1 day events- conference style), District Partnerships (1 year programs working very closely with a school), Girl Leadership Series (online).
I decided to focus specifically on these three age groups because I had taught in a middle school and currently teach in a high school. I have college aged girls too because I feel that there are so many real-world skills that they need to know before getting a job. Some are struggling because they still don’t know what they want to be and these girls rallies and connections will help them come out of themselves and into their power. There is one instance that really made me do this- it was my very first year of coaching cheerleading in high school (I had coached middle school prior) and the team was a mess- they were so mean to each other. There was a huge verbal fight with some of the girls and they quit. It was right before a major competition. On the bus ride to the competition, the girls told me the girls who quit were bashing them on Twitter, saying they were going to cause trouble for them at the competition. I was so upset that these girls were tearing each other down and were going to come to a big competition to just bully them? It was in that moment that I knew it had to stop- girls needed to spend their time raising each other up- not tearing each other down.
I can’t forget my babies, though! I do this so that my own daughters can grow up in a kinder world where opportunities for girls are endless!
My favorite part is bringing all of the women together who speak and present at these rallies and hearing the testimonials from the girls. Girls normally can’t believe that these women want to come and talk to them. They will often tell me after, “She is so amazing, I can’t believe that she wanted to even come here and talk to me”. This is the magic because I will often tell them, “Of course they wanted to talk to you, don’t you know how special you are?” I can also give them their contact information and they can connect with the woman that they were drawn to. The greatest struggle is finding funding for the events. Sometimes schools cannot afford this LIFE CHANGING program for girls and that should not be so- I always try to help them get funding for these events if I can and am always looking for sponsors. Sponsors help make the magic happen.
Yes, if they are facing bullying at school Moms should:
I would also advise not to confront the bully themselves since it is not their job to worry about that- if it continues however, that is when you must advocate for your daughter. All kids deserve to feel safe in school and it is the job of the staff to make it so.
I have a Girls Movement Rally on April 26th with extra special keynote Adriana Carrig of The Little Words Project! I also have a confident, savvy girls workshop coming up on May 5th. Girl Leadership Virtual Series will be reopening June 1st for enrollment- this is an online class for girls teaching them to find their purpose. Girls get a certificate at the end as an Empowered Girls Rise Leader and have to complete a project doing something for the community (example, planting a garden, filling in for the school janitor, kindness rocks, volunteering etc.)
They can find me on my website www.empoweredgirlsrise.com
Facebook Empowered Girls Rise
And there you have it! How wonderful is this program? How awesome is this lady! I’m so excited to have connected with her, as she has such a heart for teen and tween girls. She’s passionate about serving young girls, and I’m passionate about serving their moms. Coincidence? I think not!
I would love to leave you today with two treats!
First, Stephanie has a wonderful resource for you. She has created a FREE printable that you can download here, "Five Tips To Have a Conversation With Your Daughter About Staying Safe Online".
And I would love to treat you as well!
If you haven't joined us already, I've created a Facebook Group called LOVE THROUGH THE LENS, where moms of teen girls come together to support and encourage each other as we raise strong girls. Please come join us! It's such a wonderful community!
Thank you again, Stephanie. I look forward to seeing what’s coming next for you, and for all the girls you help empower!
***Special credit to Marisa Balletti- Lavoie of Sassy Mouth Photo who took the beautiful photos of Stephanie shown here.***