The Back to Basics (B2B) fall session concluded on Nov. 13, and what fun it was for our 10 young ladies, and enthusiastic program facilitators and volunteers! Among the highlights:
The session launched with a blast at the Adventure Science Center. Thanks to a generous donation of tickets from Chauncey Moore, the girls experienced this premier learning center—most for the first time—with a fair amount of climbing and space-walking!
We thought the Science Center would be a tough act to follow, but Meharry med student and marathoner Vida Laudarji captured the B2B girls’ attention and excitement during her meet-and-greet on week two around their fitness training next spring for the 5K Diaper Dash.
When the news headlines turned to mass shootings, and gun violence literally around the corner, we veered from the evening's scheduled lesson to acknowledge the toll recurring tragic events were having on the girls' daily life. Open dialogue about their feelings were followed by a moment of silence, guided meditation, and teaching and practice of some basic yoga poses.
Sammie Griffin, an assistant vice president with Wells Fargo Bank, next stepped in with a “financial literacy 101” class focused on wants vs. needs, and the importance of budgeting and saving money. She was a huge hit with the girls and had no trouble enlisting their participation. We could all benefit from the big takeaway lesson: When it's cold outside you need a warm coat. But if you want a Gucci, you need to save for it!
Week five was a family-style Asian dinner at the home of Board President Deborah Borfitz, where chicken fried rice, salad with sesame-ginger dressing and pomegranate iced tea was on the menu. The girls helped with the stirring and serving, table-setting and meal blessing before digging in. After clearing up the dishes we gathered in the living room for a frank discussion about bullying. Several of the girls had recently participated in the “I Am Invisible” fashion show and helped lead the conversation.
In the final class, the B2B girls explored the difference between self-worth and self-esteem through a lesson called the “Parable of the Unshiny Bead” with Board Treasurer Cindy Montano. As they made leather bracelets with amethyst and crystal beads, they learned that the days leaving them feeling like an “unshiny bead,” “unshiny bead” shouldn't deter them from their destiny to become a polished, faceted precious gem.