May 28, 2017

Authentic Voices

 
The Annual conference is supported by:  
Rock Island County Regional Office of Education
Betsy Zmuda-Swanson, LCSW
Erica Hempel-Bucy, LCSW
Xochi Pannell
Erin Doty
Lisa Ball
Chi Alpha Pi Sorority

About Us:
The purpose of Authentic Voices is to provide opportunities for girls to bring forth their particular challenges and conflicts inherent in growing up by developing skills, attitudes and techniques, empowering them to bring about change.   Encouraging each girls’ voice and creating a safe place for cultivation and exploration of authentic self is all part of the program.  Information will be provided that will aid in the development of thinking skills to help teens question cultural messages.  This program targets girls ages 11-18, but parents, teachers, counselors, and social workers are encouraged to get involved.  Interested in learning more?  Contact Betsy at 309/786-3006.
Why Authentic Voices:
Authentic Voices is a safe place for girls to be themselves.  The group promotes “giving voice” to individual girl’s feelings, ideas, and observations.  We want to see the girls develop into confident leaders.  Being part of the group fosters a greater connection with self, peers, and staff leaders.  Authentic Voices is a great group to take part in because we do so many fun things at our meetings.  Topics include: career development, conflict management, stress management, self esteem, developing coping skills, health, and much more!  The girls give input into suggested topics, and then the meeting topics are set.  If you walked into an AV meeting, you might see young ladies engaging in art, yoga, self defense, conversation, discussion and games.
Program Format:
Small structured discussion groups facilitated by trained personnel.  Discussion topics vary depending on group interest and need; topics may include self esteem, being a girl, trusting self, beauty myths, conflict, competition, relationships, and leadership.
Results:
  • Helps girls stay in school
  • Skill and comfort in “giving voice” to feelings, ideas, observations
  • Strategies and behaviors that promote confidence
  • Ability to take risks, to be who they are, to respect self, and others
  • Leadership skills of listening, communication, visioning, goal setting, and planning
  • Greater connection with self and others
  • A greater sense of belonging
Accomplishments:
Annual retreat held with all local schools at Ben Butterworth Center focused on “hot topics” for young women, there is a large number of students participating in each club.
For more information on Authentic Voices please contact:
Betsy Zmuda-Swanson 309/786-3006
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world.  Indeed, it is the only thing that ever does.”
-Margaret Mead