By James Neal, Staff Writer
Enid News & Eagle
ENID, Okla. —
YWCA Enid has planned a full day of activities Saturday to empower girls for the future.
The 11th annual Girl Power Rally will be 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at Autry Technology Center. Girls in fourth through seventh grades are invited to attend the full day of workshops and activities, designed to build self-confidence and promote healthy relationships as they approach their teenage years.
“We are trying to reach our community’s girls before anything negative happens to them as they grow into young women,” said YWCA Enid administrative assistant Lindsey Stowers. “As these girls grow into the pre-teen and teen years, they will be possibly facing new and important decisions that could affect the rest of their lives. We want to give girls the self-confidence, self-esteem and knowledge to face some of those challenges.”
Stowers said girls at Saturday’s event will be divided by age groups to attend four workshops, covering issues related to building healthy relationships, health and beauty tips, community responsibility and the importance of volunteering in the community.
The workshops covering volunteerism will be taught by the YWCA Enid 2012 Volunteer of the Year, Brittany Webb.
Webb, a student at Northwestern Oklahoma State University-Enid, was honored at the YWCA Enid Leadership Luncheon in July for her efforts to furnish a teen recreation room at the YWCA crisis center.
This year’s Girl Power Rally also will feature a performance and keynote address by 9-year-old award-winning country and gospel singer Emily Faith.
Faith is a three-time Oklahoma Country Music Association vocalist and entertainer of the year, is the 2012 North American Country Music Association gospel entertainer of the year and has been nominated for seven Indie Music Channel awards, including gospel album of the year and best female country artist of the year.
Faith regularly performs for benefit events to support American Cancer Society, Make A Wish Foundation, Disabled American Veterans and a variety of anti-bullying events.
Stowers said Faith will sing her song “Messages to Heaven” to honor “some of the kids she’s worked with in Make a Wish Foundation.”
Cost for the Girl Power Rally is $15 per girl. That cost covers a T-shirt, water bottle, gift bag, lunch, snack and the rally events.
Stowers said scholarships are available for girls who cannot afford the $15 fee. Transportation to and from Girl Power also is available with advance notice. Registration for the rally will be accepted up to the start of the event.
The Girl Power Rally has been well-attended in recent years, drawing in as many as 200 girls from Enid and surrounding communities.
Stowers said YWCA staff already have registered more than 70 girls for the event, and they hope to reach 160 girls with Saturday’s “empowering messages.”
Rynn Day, YWCA Enid community education and prevention specialist, said those positive messages are essential in helping girls make healthy choices.
“In our society today, girls are inundated with a lot of negative messages, negative stereotypes and unreachable standards,” Day said. “There’s a lot of pressure on girls to be outwardly pretty, instead of focusing on their inner beauty. We want to help girls focus on their inner beauty, on their ‘girl power,’ so they can make the right choices and take a stand in the community on important issues.
“You really have to work hard to put those positive messages into girls’ lives,” Day said, “and this whole day is going to be filled with positive messages for girls.”
For information on Girl Power, to register or request a scholarship, call YWCA Enid at (580) 234-7581 or email Stowers at firstname.lastname@example.org.