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The modern day girl endures a complex and intense rite of passage so different from years gone by, in many ways it is uncharted territory. This race to perceived success, beauty and acceptance is fueled by powerful mechanisms: media messages, peer pressure, technology, social media, and the pressure to succeed with the “bar” of high achievement set sometimes just out of reach. The impact of it all: a culture of competition and detrimental adolescent norms such as girl aggression, eating disorders and sustained high stress levels that turn record numbers of our girls from children into statistics and sensational headlines.
The Jenna Druck Center has designed a program that provides a tool for those with teens in their lives to make sure that teens know that they are seen as important, valuable and are recognized for possessing unique gifts, strengths and talents. Spirit of Leadership is a year-round program for middle and high school girls. The program centers on the annual Spirit of Leadership Award. Parents, family, friends, educators, youth leaders, faith leaders and anyone who supports the young women in their community are invited to submit on-line nominations: an open call for nominations is open now through October 12th. This simple gesture may be the catalyst for teens to feel the support required to take active steps toward reaching their potential.
Jenna Druck Center seeks to identify San Diego’s rising leaders in a wide range of emerging leadership categories: academic, athletic, the arts, family live, personal integrity and our favorite – the undiscovered leader. Time and time again we see self-perceptions transformed when young women learn that someone in their community really sees them and believes in them enough to take time to submit the nomination form. In fact, the impact is so significant that many award recipients come back to serve as mentors, facilitators and speakers, eager to share the story of how receiving the Spirit of Leadership changed their lives.
The Spirit of Leadership Award is more than a piece of paper, it is an experience. Part of earning the award comes through attending the 16th Annual Spirit of Leadership Conference on November 3, 2012. The Conference is a day where 200 young women from all corners of San Diego assemble to be honored, make new friends and receive high energy, teen relevant leadership training.
If you have teen girls (6th-12th grade) in your life or teens you know from your community: you have the opportunity to gift them with the type of support and community that can turn potential statistics and headlines into the next generation of self-confident young women leaders. Five minutes of your time can change a life.
Leanne Tibiatowski is a community leader and activist who strives to help the world become a better place. She is a passionate youth advocate dedicated to supporting and empowering young women to step into leadership in their own lives and communities. She is also committed to providing safe spaces for people to come together for healing and transformation particularly for those in the community who have lost a loved one to a death who are seeking support on their journey through grief. She serves as Program Director for the Jenna Druck Center overseeing their Families Helping Families and Spirit of Leadership programs. Leanne can be contacted through e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or at the Jenna Druck Center 619.294.8000.