Tag: self-esteem

10-Year-Old Olivia Allen Holds “I Can Be” Conference to Teach Young Girls to Be More Confident

(Photo courtesy ANITRA ALLEN)

Olivia Allen, 10, has already taken her first steps to becoming a philanthropist.  Allen, who lives in Louisville, Kentucky, hosted a free conference for her peers on August 22 titled, “I Can Be: Girls Confidence Conference.”

“It’s important to give back,” Allen told The Huffington Post. “There are a lot of people in our community and if I help someone, they’ll help someone else… and it will be a cycle.”

About 50 girls ages 8 to 12, and their parents, attended the conference as Allen led her peers in a morning filled with workshops that touched on the physical, social and psychological challenges young girls face, mainly by tackling wavering self-esteem.

Allen said, this conference was necessary because she noticed a decline in morale among young girls in her community.

“I realize some girls’ confidence goes down when they start puberty,” Allen said, admitting that she even noticed a difference in her own at times. Because of this, she said, she wanted to do something to uplift others. 

(photo courtesy ANITRA ALLEN)

Allen spent this summer planning the conference mainly on her own and had financial assistance from her mother, Anitra Allen. She contacted speakers to help lead three separate workshops that focused on envisioning success, turning a passion into a business and personal health care.

The conference also featured two keynote speakers (Barbara Sexton Smith and Ashley D. Miller) who addressed confidence and pursuing your dreams. Greg Fischer, mayor of Louisville, opened the conference and commended Allen for her work in the community.

According to her mom, Allen has always had a caring spirit. She said, her daughter once told her after seeing a panhandler one day after school, “Mommy, every time I see a homeless person, I just want to raise money to buy them a house.” She suggested her daughter do something more feasible to help out her community and Allen took her advice, she said, by holding a toy drive in March where she collected more than 100 toys for Kosair Charities. One month following the toy drive, Allen organized a food drive where she fed underprivileged children in her community. 

The confidence conference was Allen’s most recent community outreach event, but she told HuffPost it wouldn’t be her last. She plans on continuing her work in the community and holding another conference for girls soon, she said. 

“The importance of having a conference like this is to show girls what they can be,” her mom told HuffPost. “I never want to tell her she can’t do anything.” 

Allen attributes much of her confidence to both her parents and her spiritual upbringing. Her career aspirations currently include everything from becoming a fashion designer, mathematician, news anchor, actress, singer and more.

“It was important to me because it was important to her,” her mom said. “Confidence is one of those things that can dictate what you decide to do and that will influence who you think you are.”

article by Taryn Finley via huffingtonpost.com

Midwest Mother Launches 1st “Pretty Brown Skin Day” on Feb. 23

Sheri Crawley’s inspiration for a day for brown skin girls came from her daughters Laila, 8, (left) and Aliya, 6 (right). Photos/Sheri Crawley (Courtesy Photo)

After relocating to a Midwest suburban neighborhood in 2010, Sheri Crawley’s noticed a change in her bubbly, energetic and confident daughter Laila. Her daughter began attending kindergarten at predominantly White school and began longing for long, blonde hair like her classmates. Crawley, who has read several studies about skin bias such as the 1940s Doll Test by Dr. Kenneth and Mamie Clark, where young Black children thought White dolls were prettier than darker skinned dolls, knew she had to curtail her daughter’s perception of her brown skin.

“We can’t pretend skin tones don’t matter in our country. Girls on an everyday basis are dealing with issues in their classrooms and even in their relationships,” said Crawley. “We have so few representations of women in a positive light. We need to have a discussion now with our children.”  After praying and seeking direction from God, Crawley said she and her husband set out to create a doll for their daughters that would celebrate their appearance and heritage. The result is the Pretty Brown Girl Doll.

“As we look at the state of Black America, we are further away now than we have ever been to our culture, our ethnicity and our ancestry,” said Crawley. “It’s time to get back to the basics and really celebrate it.”  Since the release of the first doll, the Crawley family has expanded Pretty Brown Girl to books-journals such as “My First Day of School” by Sherri Crawley, baby gear, Obama T-shirts, wristbands, pledge cards and curriculum-based workshops held by groups across the country.

This month, the Pretty Brown Girl Foundation is gearing up to launch the first International Pretty Brown Skin Day set for Feb. 23. That day is to be a day of empowerment and encouragement designed to help young girls appreciate their varying and diverse complexions and skin tones while the develop self-esteem and confidence. 

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