Talk about starting off with a bang…
I’ve been back in the schools a little over a month now and I’ve already spoken to more than 2,500 students.
Whether in assemblies, middle school or high school classrooms, it’s been great talking to teens again!
Here’s what I’ve been up to…
I’ve spoken to 2,082 students in assemblies at two middle schools and two high schools.
The following are a few of my favorite comments from the girls’ post-assembly evaluations:
- “I will put myself first and not put someone else’s needs, especially a boy’s needs, over my own. I will also not determine my self-value based on if I am in a relationship or not.”
- “This presentation will help me value myself and my body more. I will take her advice and not let any guy pressure me to do something I don’t want to do.”
- “I have decided I don’t need to have sex with them for them to love me. What I need is to love myself.”
And this principal’s testimonial was the icing on the cake:
It does my heart good to know that girls are walking away from my assemblies empowered to know their worth, understand they’re not responsible for anyone else’s happiness, and realize it’s okay to put themselves first.
At High Schools…
I’ve taught 333 students for 3 hours at two high schools.
I’ve always said that I enjoy speaking in high school classrooms because the classes are co-ed, I can have a more mature conversation and I learn more from the students about how teen relationships work.
In fact, it was in high school classrooms that I discovered the “7 Secrets” for my book.
I wish I could tell you the book (and its secrets) were no longer necessary, but then I receive letters from high school girls like this:
“I loved him so much that even though I never felt a thing during sex, I participated for him. He broke up with me three weeks ago over the phone and even hung up on me while I was talking. Since then I felt so awful and stupid. But your presentation made me feel a lot better and knowing that other girls have been through similar things helped a lot.”
Clearly there’s still a lot of work to be done, but not just in high schools.
At Middle Schools…
So far, I’ve taught 150 8thgrade girls for 3 hours at a middle school.
As much as I enjoy speaking at high schools, every time I speak at a middle school, I realize that I can’t stop speaking to middle school students.
Because that’s when girls really begin to struggle with self-esteem issues.
And I need to help them deal with those issues before they get to high school.
This letter from a middle school girl last week is proof…
“You helped me believe that a relationship and my actions will not define me. I have a lot of negativity going on in my life. But ever since you came to speak with us, I have been feeling better about myself. Every day of this month I have been crying because I felt as if I wasn’t enough. Now these past few days, I have felt the best about myself. I have been more positive about how I look, feel, etc. I would like to thank you very much for coming to my school to talk to us.”
One thing that’s stood out already about this school year, is the amount of time I’ve had to spend talking to 8th-grade girls about the importance of self-care and mental health.
It saddens me to see so many girls struggle with anxiety, and especially at such a young age.
I don’t claim to be a therapist, but in my opinion, a lot of their anxiety stems from them trying to please everyone…
Their significant others….
The bottom line? They’re afraid of disappointing people.
Which is emotionally draining for anyone, let alone a teenager.
Imagine if this was your daughter….
If not addressed in middle school, the anxiety would continue to haunt her in high school, and eventually college.
(Like the young lady from this post.)
And that’s #WhyIdoWhatIDo.
Yes, there’s a lot of work to be done, but this is the work God has called me to and I am blessed to be a blessing…
…Hopefully to the young ladies in the schools where I speak and/or teach, and to your daughter as well.
Speaking of your daughter, what grade is she in and how is her school year going so far?
I’d love to hear from your daughter this time. She’s welcome to reply to this email or send me a DM on my Instagram page here.
Please tell her I look forward to hearing from her!
P.S. Please share this post with your friends on social media. Your continued prayers and support help keep me going. So, thank you!