October 26, 2014

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MyEmpowerment program affects RS students
Written by thillman   
Wednesday, February 20, 2013 6:14 PM

Let’s face it being a 12 year old girl is hard. Attitudes and values are changing, friendships are changing, personalities are changing and that is only the start of the changes that affect young adolescent girls on their road to being a woman. Sometimes things are hard, sometimes things are good but it’s always reassuring to know that there is a trusted adult one can turn to. It’s also a comfort to know that this awkward, weird and crazy stage in life will pass and that new and better things are to come.

From October 26, 2012 to January 28, 2013, twelve young ladies in the sixth grade at OCEMS have been participating in a new innovative program put on by Purdue Extension-Ohio County called MyEmpowerment. This after school program gave the girls the opportunity to meet with teachers, high school senior mentors, the OCEMS guidance counselor and the Purdue Extension-Ohio County Health and Human Sciences/4-H Youth Development Educator for two hours one afternoon a week. With the generous help of the Rising Sun Regional Foundation, the support of several teachers and the guidance counselor at the OCEMS, these young ladies have had the opportunity to learn, grow and bond as they face the numerous challenges of being an adolescent female.

The MyEmpowerment program was a 12 week program that was created to help young girls in the community learn about healthy living, healthy lifestyle choices and that their future is based on the choices that they are making now. Over the 12 weeks the girls discussed various topics ranging from values and morals, to USDA’s MyPlate food guidelines, body image and self-esteem, stress management, choices and consequences, abstinence, cyber bullying and online safety, healthy relationships and signs of abuse, planning for their future education and physical fitness.

According to the evaluation results, 90% of the girls now know of a trusted adult at their school that they can go to if they need someone to talk to. Fifty percent of the girls now understand that what they post on social networking sight or what they send in a text is public knowledge and could it be shared with others without them knowing. Seventy percent of the girls showed an increase in knowledge regarding abstinence and how choosing to be abstinent can have a positive impact on their future and education.

The MyEmpowerment program would once again like to thank the Rising Sun Regional Foundation for their financial support, Caitlin Sauerhage-OCEMS Guidance Counselor, Sharon Ketenbrink, Marty Morningstar, Amy Bovard, Aly Minks and Jennifer Rowell for their time, advice, mentoring and for being positive influences in the lives of these young girls.

For more information on this topic or any other, please contact Shannon Franklin, Purdue Cooperative Extension Educator, HHS/4-H Youth Development, 812-438-3656 or frankls@purdue.edu Purdue University, Indiana Counties and U.S. Department of Agriculture cooperating an Affirmative Action / Equal Opportunity Institution.


Shannon Franklin is Purdue Extension/Ohio County Health and Human Sciences Educator/4-H.