On Friday June 20th, the non-profit organization Girls on the Rise produced their first annual conference to gain additional support for their cause of promoting healthy living in Sacramento.
“Joining girls on the rise was really amazing,” says Marilyn Wong, member of Girls on the Rise. “It’s a really great experience and you meet other people and open up your shell to get outside your comfort zone. I hope that the future girls on the rise can expand our recommendations and also work on them so we can actually see the positive changes in our community.”
Not only are the girls striving to benefit their community, but they are bettering themselves in the process as well.
“My favorite part of planning the conference was spending time with young women of like minds. I believe I grew a lot mentally. I wasn’t able to talk a lot in public but now I’m a lot more comfortable around people,” says Nancy Lor, member of Girls on the Rise.
The youth planned conference was day long and provided attendees with the opportunity to participate in workshops, listen to guest speakers and learn more about the mission of Girls on the Rise. Workshops focused on healthy living with lessons on nutrition from a Ubuntu Green representative and life and fitness tips from La Familia Counseling center. Following the workshops was a presentation explaining what Girls on the Rise really is and their plans to make a difference in the community. Issues the young women hope to address include the lack of nutrition in school lunches and unfair treatment in schools.
“I thought it would be a great opportunity to get involved,” Maddie Felenz, youth mentor. “There are so many resources out there that people aren’t utilizing like supplemental food programs. There is so much funding out there and specifically for the school lunch program and raising awareness to utilize those funds mo0re in relation to the school lunch program and just bring healthier lunches to the kids who need them.”
The girls in this program have taken the reigns and worked diligently throughout the year to put on the conference and have many potential Girls on the Rise and adults inspired by their work.
“It’s amazing seeing these young women stand up and lead this conference for young women put on by young women and in that vein I think it was very successful,” says Wendy Petko, Executive Director of Girls on the Rise. “They presented their plan for the upcoming year and we were able to generate additional interest for additional participants into the program for next year. We are looking forward to year two of the program.”