MSA Participates in Smart Girls Night Out!On Monday, March 2 the Council on Adolescents hosted Smart Girls Night Out which was held in the media center of River Bend Middle School. The event, decorated perfectly in pink, was a night where middle school girls, ages 10 - 13 and a female parent, guardian, or other mentor enjoyed a night of dinner, pampering and fun. This event was planned to celebrate 18 middle school girls who successfully completed the Smart Girls Program coordinated by the Council on Adolescents.
The event began with a delicious dinner from Olive Garden and a welcome message from Lindsey Lawhon, Executive Director of the Council on Adolescents, followed by guest speaker Chae Williams, Lunch Buddy Coordinator at the Council on Adolescents, who shared her own personal story of how she was able to overcome the stigma of being a teen mom. Following Chae's story, Jordan Ledford, Teens Program Coordinator at the Council on Adolescents, thanked everyone for coming and being a part of the Smart Girls Program and gave a breakdown of the event and what all they had planned for the night.
After dinner, the girls and their guests broke up into small groups. From there, the groups went to one of the four stations around the media center. There were stations set up for pampering participants and their guest: a "hair salon" station (services provided by Cosmetic Arts Academy), a "manicure station" for painting nails, a "paint your own canvas" with an inspirational message, as well as a photo booth where the girls took pictures with a positive word that described them. After each group finished with one station they moved onto the next until they had visited each of the stations and had their picture taken at least once.
Meaghan Crowder, Marketing Coordinator at Martin Starnes & Associates, CPAs, P.A. (MSA) attended the event as a volunteer and thoroughly enjoyed interacting with the girls and being a mentor. She overheard several of the girls saying things such as "this is the best night ever" or "tonight is best". She was grateful for the experience and thankful to be a part of such a fun night!
The Smart Girls Program is part of Teen Talk, and serves adolescent females across the community, where Council on Adolescents staff implement age appropriate, culturally sensitive, and medically accurate comprehensive sexuality programming. This program is unique in that it teaches young girls the importance of developing self-esteem, positive body image, and techniques to help them make healthy choices so they will be able to reach their goals. Teen Talk is part of the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Initiative (TPPI) funded through the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS). This program is designed to reduce risky sexual behavior and prevent teen pregnancies in Catawba County. The Teen Programs Coordinator leads this initiative across the county and implements evidence-based curriculum, "Making Proud Choices" to middle school aged youth, "Reducing the Risk" to high school aged youth, and "Smart Girls" to middle and high school females.
The Smart Girls Program is only one of the many programs offered by the Council on Adolescents. For more information, visit their website: www.coacatawba.org and learn ways you too can get involved with the youth in our community.
Smart Girls Program participants after enjoying an evening of dinner, pampering, and fun!