On 8.15.15 God allowed his vision to come to fruition and the Talk About IT Seminar came into full effect. Leading up to this event I experienced discouragement, fatigue and feelings of being overwhelmed. I decided after this Talk About IT Seminar it would be the last. It was too much to prepare for alone, but I tell you what as soon as I saw the girls begin to come in to register for the Seminar, I immediately knew all the lost sleep, endless promoting and running around were ALL WORTH IT.
Parents and participants were welcomed with bright smiles and complimentary breakfast as they registered for the Seminar.
During the ice breakers the girls disclosed some deep struggles: Attempts of suicide, being constantly sad and not knowing why and having drug addicted parents. When these girls shared these feelings so early in the Summit I was taken aback and overcome with a rush of emotions. I had to excuse myself to collect my myself. After those statements the girls followed with “I have NEVER told anyone else these things before, but it felt good to get it out.”
Workshop I: My Perception
Leanna facilitated the first workshop which caused the girls to explore how they perceive themselves vs. how the world perceives them. The girls were each showered with compliments one girl later stating ” When everyone was giving me those compliments I wanted to cry. No one ever compliments me.”
It was nice to look around and see the girls enjoying not only their food, but their newly found friends! But the girls didn’t waste no time eating as they quickly finished their food asking “What’s next Shakia? “
Workshop II: Sharing Chairs
I facilitated the second. This workshop got the girls up and moving during a interactive activity similar to musical chairs. The girls were prompted to answer a question if the chair they were sitting in were chosen and could also win prizes.
Two participants came and asked could they sing a song after spotting that their was a microphone hooked up to the speaker. Though we were on a time constraint I figured, this event is for them so if Karaoke is what they are desiring we could make it happen. What I thought would be only two girls performing turned into many more including myself and Leanna. These girls were so talented, I was beyond impressed.
Each girl received a Certificate of Courage for completing the Talk About IT Seminar. These girls were so courageous throughout the entire Summit; especially one girl, who after engaging in one of the ice breaker activities began to sob uncontrollably. She stated that the information she’d shared was information that she’d been holding in for a long time. For her to have shared one of her struggles and tears with a group of girls you had known not even an hour is one examples of the courage exhibited during the Seminar.
Raffles & Ice Cream
Each girl had the opportunity to place her tickets into a hat at a chance to win 1 of the 3 beautiful raffle baskets while enjoying some yummy ice cream (with even more yummy toppings)!
After a day full of tears, laughter and singing we decided to wrap up the Seminar with DANCE! I loved seeing everyone come together and not be afraid to show their moves in front of one another. I especially loved the encouragement that was given to one another.
I can honestly say that every girl was transparent, every girl presented as genuine and every girl was included. Thank you to each parent who invested in their young lady’s self esteem, it’s needed more than you realize. I thank God for choosing me, lil ol’ me to facilitate events that create an outlet, a safe haven to let them know that they are NOT alone in their struggles.
What are they saying post seminar ?
” My girls enjoyed the workshop sooooooooo much! They were still talking about it and were careful to honor the confidentially of the participants. (They wouldn’t talk about certain things when I was around.). I hope you will do it again and raise your fee!- Tasha, A parent of a participant.”“I had a great time there and I created a special bond with the girls there and to me that means a lot. I heard a lot of their stories and realized that there are other people struggling with the same things I am. To know that people are going through it and getting through it, gives me hope. This was a great experience for me. Thank you Shakia for making this happen.- Anna, a participant.”
“Shakia, the world is in DESPERATE NEED of YOU. Thank you for your dedication and sacrifice. My girls were deeply moved and inspired. God is awesome! Just know that this workshop did not fall on deaf ears.- Katie, A parent of a participant.”“I was able to learn that everyone has a past and you are not the only one struggling even though it may seem that way.- Monique, a participant.”“Thank you so much, the girl’s had such a great time they are still talking about it. My daughter is excited for the next one ! Faith-A parent of a participant.”
Leanna: for traveling to facilitate a workshop
Panera Bread & St Vincent De Paul: Food Donations
Bare Minerals: Make Up Donations
Desiree & Chappel: Preparing & serving food
Rachael: Creating 3 beautiful raffle baskets
Carmen, Karen & Barbabra: Lending helping hands
Ronita & Dawn: Donating give away prizes
Jewell, Karen & Barbara: Monetary Donations