What Makes You Feel Beautiful: Empowering Girls and Women for a Brighter Future
What Makes You Feel Beautiful (WMYFB) is a Maui, Hawaii-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering girls and women of all ages and stages of life. Through education, mentorship, and resources, WMYFB aims to cultivate self-love, self-esteem, and confidence. This article explores the importance of supporting girls and women, highlighting the concerning issue of non-marital teen births to poor or near poor teens and the potential setbacks it poses.
The Significance of Supporting Girls and Women:
Investing in girls and women is vital for the advancement of communities
. Although many women in Hawaii are leading successful lives, there are systemic challenges that hinder the success of others. By empowering girls and women, we can address pressing issues such as poverty and conflict, leading to overall societal improvement.
The Challenge: Non-marital Teen Births to Poor or Near Poor Teens:
One alarming statistic that hinders the progress of girls and women is the high rate of non-marital teen births to poor or near poor teens, which stands at 85%. This situation holds these young girls back in various ways, including:
Lack of Skills and Direction: Teen mothers often face difficulties in acquiring essential skills and direction necessary for personal growth and success. They may struggle with limited educational opportunities, career prospects, and life skills, which can hinder their ability to break the cycle of poverty.
Vulnerability at a Young Age: Becoming a parent at a young age can leave these teens vulnerable to numerous challenges. They may experience emotional distress, financial instability, and social stigma, all of which can impact their overall well-being and limit their opportunities.
Addressing the Situation: The FLY/High School Program:
In response to the critical situation faced by young women in Maui who experience non-marital teen births, WMYFB has developed the FLY/High School Program. This program specifically targets at-risk and disadvantaged young women aged 13-18 (grades 9-12) and aims to build their self-esteem, equip them with life skills, and inspire them to reach their full potential.
Goals of the FLY/High School Program:
The FLY/High School Program focuses on three fundamental goals for each participant:
Challenging Beliefs and Behaviors: Participants will identify the beliefs they hold about themselves and understand how these beliefs have influenced their behavior, decisions, and relationships. They will learn to challenge and replace limiting beliefs with empowering ones.
Creating a New Personal System: Through a unique set of self-empowerment principles, techniques, and goals, participants will create a new, improved personal system of beliefs that supports their growth, self-awareness, self-confidence, well-being, and positivity.
Developing Personal Tools: The program will equip participants with practical tools to cultivate an improved attitude, ensuring personal growth, self-confidence, and resilience. These tools will support their pursuit of education, job training, and a path towards permanent employment or higher education.
The Impact of the FLY/High School Program:
Similar mentoring programs have shown promising results in high schools, enabling young women to stay in school, graduate, and pursue post-high school programs. The FLY/High School Program aims to provide life skills and increased self-esteem necessary for personal success, guiding young women to overcome obstacles and personal difficulties.
By participating in the FLY/High School Program, young women will be empowered to make positive choices for themselves, envisioning a future beyond teenage pregnancy, domestic violence, and substance abuse. The program offers a critical opportunity to make a difference in the lives of Maui's young women, providing them with a pathway to a brighter future.