Professionals volunteered to conduct life skills workshops which provided tools to help the girls understand juvenile law, identify unique law careers, develop respect for themselves and others by taking actions to make “disappear bullying”, understand why manners matter, and to invest in healthy lifestyles.
Free2Rise Girls had a fantastic Life Skills Workshop presented by Ms. Gail Bowles, entitled Forgiveness – Are you Looking Back? It was an eye-opener for the girls. Ms. Bowles explained the heaviness of carrying a grudge and being unforgiving and how it can drag you down and prevent you from moving forward with a positive mind successfully. The girls were able to experience how light the burden became when they got rid of the heavy stones and became forgiving. The girls found the workshop to be "excellent" and learned that when they forgive they can move forward.
The Honorable Sharon V. Burrell, Judge of the Circuit Court for Montgomery County, presented a Life Skills Workshop that addressed requirements to get into Law School, and how a Law degree can be used in various legal and non-litigator fields. Judge Burrell also addressed juvenile law, juvenile court jurisdictions and the juvenile court process, as well as different types of juvenile cases, and what happens in the legal process with assault. The girls learned a lot about law careers and the legal impact that they and their parents would have to deal with if faced with being charged with assault of a crime. They learned that they must look at the bigger picture before reacting to negative talk or taunts, and they were informed of their legal options if assaulted, stalked or harassed. Overall, they left armed with knowledge about the law and careers in law.
Ms. Ashlei Brathwaite, a 2nd time Professional Free2Rise Educational Foundation Presenter, conducted a life skills workshop for the Free2Rise Girls on the importance of “Respect”. Ms. Brathwaite engaged the girls in discussion and activities to address real-life home and school scenarios of respectful versus disrespectful behavior. The workshop helped them to recognize what respect should look and feel like. The critical life skills introduced the links of our capacity to respect others to our respect of self. The girls became aware and were able to understand and grasp the tools necessary to engage others in healthier, more respectful relationships.
Mrs. Angela Jiggetts-Bazzi, a 3rd time Professional Free2Rise Educational Foundation Presenter, conducted a life skills workshop called "I Am Good Enough." Taking Actions To Disappear Bullying. Mrs. Jiggetts-Bazzi engaged the girls in an interactive session which stretched their thought process and enabled them to share their actions or lack thereof with respect to bullying. During the session the girls were asked to think about examples of bullying, why people bully, reasons that they might have bullied, why they were silent when they saw it happening, and how they should react when being bullied. Mrs. Jiggetts-Bazzi was “up close and personal” with the girls which made them feel comfortable about sharing their bullying experiences. The girls valued the intimacy of the conversation. Learning that they have the power to address bullying was huge! The life skills shared on bullying will cause the girls to think and react differently to bullying. This workshop session provided critical and valuable lessons that the girls can use throughout their lives.
Mrs. Angela Jiggetts-Bazzi returned for a 2nd workshop and took the opportunity to incorporate the actions associated with "Bullying" to why "Manners Matter" into the workshop. The girls found that people who bully and don't have manners have no respect for themselves or others. They were able to grasp that when you respect yourself and others bullying is beneath you and manners matter when you have self-respect and respect for others.
They also learned how to identify themselves on the phone, how to address and respond to people, and even how important it is to send a personal note card of appreciation. It was an awesome experience for the girls as Mrs. Jiggetts-Bazzi met the girls where they were in this current environment. The thought provoking conversations allowed them to express all that they had internalized and experienced. We are eternally grateful to Ms. Angela for helping the Free2Rise Girls aspire to become better individuals. And we believe that the impact of the Bullying and Manners Matter workshops will be reflected as powerful lessons in all of the girls' future interactions with people.
Free2Rise Ed Foundation participated in “Girls on the Run” to promote health education and healthy life styles at the Girls on the Run 5k race. Jeniaya Amos pictured here with Program Director, Kisha L Webster, successfully completed her first 5k.