I created this project (Girl Power and 2BBoys) as a prevention program to raise emotional and social literacy in pre-adolescents. Both programs are evidence-based and I'm constantly updating the content as research changes. I train educators, counsellors, youth workers, social worker, community nurses, etc to deliver the program in their communities. My goal is also to create change in the trainees that attend the courses, as they are change agents themselves. Often the trainees are learning and changing as they deliver the programs. The trainees are encouraged to add their own cultural elements to increase meaningfulness with youth.
It is vital that youth connect with adults in caring, supportive environments. The First Nation population is growing three times faster than the rest of the Canadian population and having healthy, satisfied youth is important to the country as a whole. I see so many communities working to create balance and love in all their people. In the next thirty or so years, I'd like to see the shift of power move to our First Nation people. True inner power has to come first, then this will be manifested as healthy "outer" power in communities.
If every First Nation/Aboriginal youth (or all youth for that matter!) could engage in the learnings of programs such as Girl Power and 2BBoys, what a difference it would make in Canada's reality. In addition, many communities are using this program with adults (Mom Power, Woman Power, Parent Power, etc) too!
2BBoys program, new in 2011, is designed to assist boys in connecting to their true selves in an empowering, respectful, healthy and dynamic way. The program focuses on building skills to help boys excel socially and emotionally.
The groups use movement, the outdoors, skill-building activities, games, and problem-solving initiatives to aid boys in developing resources to improve their ability to be responsive emotionally to themselves and others and to increase pro-social qualities in order to thrive during the upcoming teen distractions.
The program provides guidance in decision-making abilities and enhanced emotional recognition and expression. The groups encourage boys to feel comfortable trying new activities and have successes in a safe and uncritical environment.
Addressing boys’ needs in a group format creates the opportunity to share information and practical wisdom that often goes unsaid and unlearned in today’s busy lifestyles. The program is designed for all boys, and allows communities to add their own cultural components if desired. The manual explores recent literature and research, where possible First Nation/Aboriginal research has been included.
The girl's groups - Girl Power - promotes the healthy development of pre-adolescent girls sense of themselves, their bodies, cultural identity, and the strength to question media portrayal of girls and women in our culture. Girl Power encourages and fosters self-efficacy, self-expression, authenticity in relating to themselves and others, internal empowerment, enhanced decision-making skills, and increased self-esteem. Girl Power is a preventative program in that it introduces girls to concepts and skills prior to the difficult issues typically faced by teens. In doing so, it is hoped that some of the intensity of the issues can be diffused. Girl Power offers a foundation that will provide girls with the experience of self-discovery and the experience of being capable and accomplished individuals.
Girl Power is an educational, creative and sharing group for pre-teen girls to safely explore cultural and pre-adolescent issues. Girl Power encourages confidence, self-esteem, and self-worth. The group promotes wellness through awareness, skill-building, and creativity and are designed to introduce girls to concepts and skills that will give them the courage to stay connected to their own inner guidance.