By Rossana Martinez
At a young age women are given the message that they are weak and vulnerable. Self-love and self-empowerment change those misconceptions when women unite to make a difference.
Young women gathered for the Empowering Young Women’s Conference at Riverside City College on March 7 to learn more about self-worth, love and power. Each girl was greeted with a warm smile, a folder, notepad and pen.
Wanda Scruggs, chair of the conference, encouraged young women to start with themselves in order to make changes to the world.
“If we can teach them that they can start in their own little sphere of influence, changing their world, then they can enlarge that and keep enlarging it until soon they’ve changed so many lives for the better,” Scruggs said.
The day consisted of workshops and events focused on dream achievement, self defense, human trafficking, career education, self-esteem, personal health, and so much more.
“Girls can fight too,”a favored workshop taught a self-defense system designed for young ladies. Author Nisha Elliott, who created Transformation Tuesday, an online confidence-building video series, taught the girls how to use their voices to protect themselves.
“The focus is for the girls to know that they’re amazing enough to protect themselves,” Elliott said. “Hopefully they learn that you are amazing and should be protected and that your voice brings power. If they just learn to use their voice and it translates into everything that they do, then they’ve learned a million more things that I can even imagine.”
A special presentation by The Latte Ladies, a group of women dedicated to promoting an economic legacy for their children, taught simple tools to help live a financially sound life.
Frita Travis, member of The Latte Ladies, explained that the workshop was based on the myths of saving money and the differences between the will and the living trust.
“More so or less, it’s the simplicities of life,” Travis said. “Leaving the legacy for our children and our children’s children.”
The conference continued with a fashion show, poetry, karaoke and a career panel discussion. The girls shared their talents with one another and asked questions about their future plans and careers. While some shared their talents others cheered them on with encouraging and empowering words.
The conference offered a place where the girls could be themselves completely and at no cost of judgment.
For Vanessa Orozco, Miss Riverside City’s Outstanding Teen, the conference provided an opportunity to find strengths needed to pave the way to help other girls in need. “I feel that girls these days need to know what their strengths are so that we can use them and become someone in life,” Orozco said.