There are days when I pinch myself and think how lucky I am to really love the career I have. Of course, there are frustrating days too, but I usually find myself surrounded by inspiration. And I work with teens.
A few weeks ago, I found myself in Manhattan surrounded by twenty-two incredible tweens and teens who were hand-picked to walk the runway during a fashion show to represent Bold Girlz, an apparel brand that encourages young women and girls to express their own inner beauty, talents and sense of community. The brand chooses their models based upon how they represent being BOLD – Brave, Original, Loving or Daring – and each month donates 10% of their net proceeds to a different non-profit supporting women and girls.
I love events like this. Not only can my regular “posse” of teens (including the girls from One is Greater Than None) participate, but I get to meet tons of new teens and tweens who are out there doing meaningful things. At this event, I met teens who started their own non-profits, teens who raise significant amounts of money for existing larger charities, and other teens that just do really great deeds through volunteering hours of their time.
I was incredibly honored to be introduced to Abby Roden, a young girl from East Hampton, who completed a triathlon last July! In March, along with her mom, Theresa Roden, and her friend, Alyson Follenius, started a pilot program at her school called i-tri. A group of girls were chosen who, like Abby, did not consider themselves to be athletes. Each week they come together as a group where they would learn about the power of words and soon realized how often they were saying and thinking negative things about themselves and how that was hurtful and wasting energy. They practiced how to turn those thoughts in to positive thoughts and learned to think of themselves as strong, beautiful and courageous. They were taught about nutrition and since they were training to be triathletes and needed to fuel their bodies to get the best results- so they planted greens in their school’s greenhouse and made salads and green smoothies.
Abby’s story, and the stories of her friends who were literally transformed (both emotionally and physically) by the i-tri program, is something that should be read by everyone’s teens and tweens. Take a few minutes tonight and sit with your kids and check out Abby’s blog.
If you are interested in learning more about this amazing event that brought together twenty-two teens and their moms, here’s a great video.