Personal image and etiquette leadership were the hot new topics for 25 girls at Valley Preparatory Charter Academy. These smart and sophisticated girls relinquished their Saturday afternoon to hang out with “yours truly.” Keep in mind, they CHOSE to be there.
Mock interviews and confidence building activities broke the ice, helping the young women move comfortably past what they might have feared their Saturday would turn out to be- a boring lesson on how to be nice. Yes, we spoke to them about pleasantries and why they should abundantly use magic words like “please” and “thank you,” but we also guided them to use the principles of etiquette so they could learn how to make this “life thing” work for them. I’m always surprised when I hear people say that their kids wouldn’t enjoy such a program. Au contraire!
There comes a point in education when we leave scissors and glue behind for more grown-up classroom materials such as computers and interactive white boards. In this case, since we believe it is more fun to interact than listen to boring lectures about “do’s and don’ts” of how to look and behave, we splashed tables with craft supplies and fashion magazines to open a montage of collage making. The agreeable chatter of “Oh, I love that!” and “I want these shoes. They are so me,” crafted the perfect opportunity to teach the girls how discover their personal image.
A three course dining etiquette lesson included warm bread, tasty soup and a deliciously prepared entrée followed by a late afternoon dessert. Mix good food with fun tips on how to refrain from grossing people out at the dinner table and you get a pleasant-to-be-around, graceful, enjoyable person.
Each girl received a personal consultation from my in-house image experts Marytina Lawrence and Sabrina Jimenez. Some people might not see how image and etiquette are connected, but they are. Imagine what it is like for a young girl to hear she’s beautiful and perfect just the way she is when statistic show eighty percent of girls find fault with their image?
It was our mission to energize these young women to become the best possible version of themselves. We owe an abundant amount of gratitude to Executive Director, Shelly Melton, Educator, Lisa Taylor and Nutritional Coordinator, Janice Walstrom (below, third to the right) and her thoughtful team. Without them, this program might not be possible. Thank you!
Be on the look-out for these shining stars. We are so proud of them and we are forever grateful that schools like Valley Preparatory Charter Academy find means to continuously invest in their kids, knowing they deserve every ounce of it.
© Tiffany Nielsen