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Girls get encouragement, advice at Saturday event
Jan 27, 2014 - By Alejandra Silva, Staff Writer
Girls from Fremont County schools came together Saturday at Central Wyoming College to be a part of annual Girls Day Out events organized by the Soroptimist International of Riverton chapter.
There were some new sessions this year for the themed "Mirror, Mirror... Who is the most powerful of them all?"
"Every day we make some choices of who we are and what we like to see when we look in the mirror," Soroptimist member Mary Roberson told the girls.
Organizers planned for an event that touched on both physical aspects and emotional drivers in the lives of girls. Some participants had attended past Girls Day Out activities, but for some it was their first time.
Students from Arapahoe School, St. Stephen's Elementary, Wyoming Indian Elementary, and Rendezvous Elementary in Riverton attended. All were encouraged to mingle with girls they didn't know and have a good time.
"Our focus is to trying to bring girls from different schools together," Roberson said, noting that planners expected to address issues related to body image, bullying, health and self-esteem.
Man coaching girls
The morning began with a presentation by Western Wyoming Community College head volleyball coach Rick Reynolds of Rock Springs. He started off by explaining why a male was running the opening when it was a day for girls to hang out.
His slide show highlighted the dozens of all-girl sports teams he has coached at Western.
He also showed portraits of his two granddaughters, three daughters, and a stepdaughter. He said his experiences with these family members prepared him to offer encouraging words and build the confidence girls deserve to have.
Reynolds also had each girl answer questions about herself regarding dreams, aspirations, goals and talents.
"I firmly believe we were born to be amazing," Reynolds told the girls. "Your mind is one of the biggest and powerful things in the world."
As the girls looked into little mirrors, Reynolds had them describe and confirm their identities.
He worked to help them feel good about themselves and suggested they avoid being driven by negative people and social media.
"Society tells you how to dress... who to be," he said. "That's a scary world we live in."
Counselor Sarah Long and Katie Wood of Thrive Wyoming led the "Helping Build Self-Esteem and Personal Safety" course.
Pam Hull and partner Fabiana Laidlaw from Ironworks Gym helped get the shy girls shaking their hips and arms to Zumba dance lessons.
Diane Saenz of the University of Wyoming Extension program featured the "Tasting Foods that Make You Sparkle" mini session.
She gave a tasteful lesson on vitamins and nutrients and explained how fruits and vegetables are "nature's makeup."
"Eat your colors to make you sparkle," she told the girls.
Good meal choices and healthy options, Saenz told them, would help them "shine on the outside."
Soroptimist International is a group of professional women who work to support and empower the lives of women and girls in communities through events, programs and resources.