Local mother creates 'Girls Are Powerful' to teach girls to love themselves
[May 10, 2021: Shelley Stridsberg]
A local St. Paul, Minnesota, organization is helping girls know their worth and embrace their power.
"In today's society, women are faced with so many different things. We have racism that's running rampant; we have body issues, we have imposter syndrome."
So instead of just talking about Girl Power to her daughter, Shawntan Howell decided to show her.
"At the heart of it, it really was about me having her understand that she was beautiful, smart, confident, unique, and determined and that she had this power that no one could take away from her."
Together, Howell and her daughter Jalyn formed Girls Are Powerful.
At first, it was an inspirational product line, solely designed with positive messaging.
Then in 2013, Howell used the profits to fund programming centered around and turned her business into a nonprofit.
"We work with girls between the ages of 8 to 17 from all racial, cultural, and socioeconomic backgrounds, and that's really important to us as an organization.
Because again, I want girls to understand that we can co-exist together," said Howell.
Girls are Powerful works across the Twin Cities, giving girls techniques and activities to understand what it means to love themselves and how to look out for their health and emotional well-being. She explained, "We are talking to them about community; working together, and loving each other because there are so many different things that are set up to divide us at this point in time; and we want to bring that to the forefront and help them understand that regardless of those things, together we can change the world, right?"
Girls are Powerful is also hosting a virtual event on May 22nd, with inspiring speakers and activities.
In the fall, the nonprofit is launching a program connecting girls to peer and adult mentors.
Learn more about these programs on the Girls Are Powerful website. You can also fill out a volunteer application if you're interested in becoming a mentor or brand ambassador.
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