More than 150 local high school girls are shutting down the stereotypes surrounding women’s empowerment and opportunity following International Day of the Girl celebrations.
Brescia University College, Canada’s only girls affiliate, hosted its 5th annual International Day of the Girl celebrations Monday to raise awareness about the challenges and opportunities that girls around the world face.
Colleen Aguilar, communications director at Brescia, reminded the girls about pressing issues confronting today’s youth such as self-worth and body image.
“Those can have impacts on how much (girls) can concentrate in the classroom or at home,” she said. “Providing (girls) with resources that give them a reminder that there are extra resources available for when times are tough.”
Young girls are also facing heightened struggles with the rise of social media, said Aguilar regarding cell-phones and mobile devices.
“Sometimes those can impact girls in positive ways, and sometimes it make social situations (isolating) and more challenging for them,” she said.
Madison Olson, first year Brescia student and public speaker, inspired the group of girls about overcoming weaknesses and delving into local opportunities.
“We talked about power what are some of the privileges we experience from that and what are some of the weaknesses from that and how we can overcome things,” she said.
Female students form the Thames Valley and London Catholic District School Board interacted through group sessions and creative performances. Students from the Nancy Campbell Worlcit Academy opened the event with an artistic presentation.
Students from grades 11 and 12 are also eligible in participating in Take the Lead, a public speaking contest offering girls a year’s worth of tuition and residence at Brescia.
Brescia has been home to the international celebrations ever since the United Nations declared October 11th, 2012 as the world’s first International Day of the Girl.