MSVU conference aims to help girls build confidence and stick together

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WATCH ABOVE: Building self-esteem and confidence in girls and young women in junior and senior high school was the goal of Mount Saint Vincent University’s Girls Conference. Alexa MacLean explains – Mar 3, 2016

More than 200 junior-high and high-school girls from across Nova Scotia took part in Mount Saint Vincent University’s fifth annual Girls Conference on Thursday.

The conference, whose mission was to help girls build self-confidence, featured a variety of student-led workshops.

“It makes me so excited. I get so happy to see that they’re actually taking something away and that these women are saying, ‘Hey I can be a leader, I can be confident,'”  MSVU student leader Tabatha Whitney said.

The girls got a chance to participate in activity-based workshops, including a demonstration from Anchor City Roller Derby.

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“It’s really about empowering the woman to be stronger, both physically and mentally,” Anchor City Roller Derby instructor Lyndsay Anderson said. “It’s an inclusive sport for everybody, so we thought it really fit well with the conference today.”

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Sharing the girl-power message made a big impact on Emily, Ally, Madi and Jayden, who are Grade 7 students from Gaetz Brook Junior High.

“Girl power means to me, us girls sticking together no matter what and not hating on each other because that was a big part of what we talked about,” Emily said.

“Just making each other feel happy and not putting each other down, because it takes the same amount of time to give somebody a compliment as it is to hate on someone,” Ally said.

“Just helping each other out because girls need to stick together,” Madi said.

“Basically just sticking up for your friends and just helping them out when they feel down,” Jayden said.

Many of the teachers wanted their students to come back knowing the importance of being true to themselves.

“The big thing I hope they take away from [it] is just remembering to be true to themselves. Don’t let anyone bring you down and tell you who you are,” Gaetz Brook teacher Kelly James said.

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