Empowering Teen Females
What does it take for a formerly diet-addicted 16 year-old to start a body positivity Instagram channel that grows to 2000 followers with 600 likes on every post in 6 months? For a high school Girls Leadership Committee to grow by 400% in a day? For a 15 year-old to declare herself the next President of the United States?
The Global Co Lab Network partnered with Brie Mathers and Love the Skin You’re In to support teen female foundational development to empower stronger sisterhood, mental health, leadership and change making.
For five years the Co Lab helped lead a significant engagement effort in Arlington and Fairfax Virginia working with teens, moms, and community activists to bring Brie to the region to wow the hearts of young women in a way that would have lasting ripples across Arlington and Fairfax Counties. Brie’s talk, Love the Skin You’re In, engaged the life force of students who aren’t only still talking about the impact, but are taking active measures to create a softer world where women’s voices and imaginations are more valued.
Brie’s moving spark presentations were booked at the Arlington Public Schools’ Whole Child Conference, HB Woodlawn, Washington Lee High, and Thomas Jefferson Middle School with support from Arlington Public Schools and the Josh Anderson Foundation. Mothers and students alike were blown open by the conversations that spoke to the heart of girl culture. One mom could not have summed it up more perfectly.
What followed was a multitude of Global Co Lab Salons designed to free young women’s voices and engage their fertile minds in creating – and joining pre-existing – networks of support that strengthen their resiliency. These salons reached airwaves as far as Vashon Island in Washington State.
Brie went back to Fairfax County where she offered two talks to accommodate 800 young women at McLean High. Organized by a powerhouse of young female leaders who claimed ownership for creating the experience, the events, in partnership with a packed follow up salon, sparked a clamor of young women to join the girls leadership committee, growing it by 400% overnight. One of McLean’s competent leads, Ellie, joined the Global CoLab Network and Love the Skin You’re In as a summer intern. See her Co Lab blog here. In addition, 25 young women showed up for a free area-wide yoga event hosted at Sun and Moon Yoga.
Brie was excited to return to Arlington to co-lead a follow up workshop called: Sisterhood, The Last Frontier: Compassionate Heart Practices for Young Women with Annie Moyer, Director of Sun and Moon Yoga and a critical Co Lab partner, joined by Nadine Asef-Sargeant, Susie Barolo, and a host of other Arlington and Fairfax Moms. A movement of radical self acceptance and young women’s leadership and resiliency is afoot in the Northern Virginia area. We are only just beginning, have barely scratched the surface, and are excited to report the following extraordinary girl power outcomes that will empower teen females to be the change agents in their own lives and in the world:
- leaving unhealthy relationships
- resisting dieting
- feeling strong and powerful
- feeling a sense of hope
- resisting self harming behaviors
- feeling connective rather than competitive or alone
- feeling their value beyond being eye candy
- ready to adopt mindfulness practices
- LGBTQ resilience in the face of bigotry and hate
- turning the corner on body loathing and shaming
- seeing themselves as leaders
- feeling love for and loved by their school and peers