On Thursday, June 29th, Neighborhood News Correspondents covered and participated in the 4th annual Girls on the Rise Conference that was held at the Sierra Health Foundation.


Many participants, though anxious, were very eager to learn about the prospects of being in the youth program:


“From the name of it sounds like it empowers women and girls so I kind of hope I can take some of that home with me today and put that into work in my everyday life,” said Cydney Randle, after the 18-year-old participant signed in.


The conference began with a presentation from Christine Tien, the project manager for Girls on the Rise, whose slideshow showed all of the successful projects the girls had orchestrated over the past few years.


Many of the campaigns focused on health and public safety as well as some directed towards better the education of youth in nearby counties, like the ‘Schools not Prisons’ Campaign which focused on encouraging the state to invest more money in schools than on prisons.


“We need to stay loud,” said Christine Tien in her presentation about Girls on the Rise involvement in advocating for equal health care assistance for Medi-Cal patients. “We need to support health care for everybody. We need to leave the playing field. So it’s important to stay loud and also vote, well, when you’re of age.”


The participants then moved on to different workshops and games that were lead by the current members such as yoga, lectures on the basics of food science, and musical chairs.


In between the workshops, the participants listened to current and former members’ testimonies on what they had gained from being in Girls on the Rise. One of them coming from a former members wrote a speech on how Girls on the Rise had impacted her:


“As we know, Girls on the Rise is a leadership and advocacy program dedicated to helping the health disparities in Sacramento but to me, it’s more than that,” said Jo-Lyn Xiong, former Girls on the Rise member of three years who now attends Cal Poly with a major in Food Science. “I got to grow with Girls on the Rise.”


Though the conference has ended, Girls on the Rise is still accepting new members to their organization.