I’ve asked myself after tour times of coming here.
What do I want to get out of this?
What does EMPOWERMENT mean to me?
Empowerment is being open minded in order to support and be supported by those around me while displaying and understanding the different paths we each choose to follow.
Feeling FOCUSED, SUPPORTED, ENERGIZED and STRONG are words that demonstrate how I feel when I am EMPOWERED!
I am DETERMINED, wanting to be EDUCATED. I keep showing up and trying because I can be supported while displaying my independence.
By Ali, Advienne, Brooklyn, Candyce, Laiana, Sienna, Surprise
LEAD TO EMPOWER!
Positive outcomes, we seek
Skills, good opportunities, and character, we leak
Responsibility, cooperation, empowering your homies.
Leadership isn’t bologna, nor is it phony
Setting examples mean being a good role model,
So give back, and take a step out of your comfort bottle.
By Addie, Analia, Celina, Chloe, Enda, Hanasa, Jane, Titiana
Accountability – show up, help others
Challenge – healthy food, friends
Trust – boundaries, friends & family
Inspire – others, yourself, youth, adults
Optimism – for the future, for yourself, for change
New – friends, challenges, activities, people
3… 2… 1… ACTION
By Alivia, Elizabeth, Era, Katerra, Paige, Patti, Shahar, Shaniece
During our PURPOSE power sessions, we asked the girls: What Drives You?
Their responses which were decorated onto clothes pegs as reminders.
Make 5 pegs: Keep 3 as inspirations - Give 2 away as encouragement.
Here are a few inspirations for you...
Change of Perspective
I joined Girls Who LEAP because I wanted to get involved with the community and learn new transferable skills. Through Girls Who LEAP, I have grown in many ways. I have grown in learning to not over think my thoughts and develop self-care. The program has taught me useful reflecting strategies that I now use on a daily basis. I have also gained confidence by going out of my comfort zone by talking to new people. As a result, I have strengthened my leadership skills in learning how to delegate tasks to people and not overwhelming myself.
An example of this is the development of my own process of decision making. A lot of my interactions with other people involve a thought process, a decision on the next step, and the execution of that step. This is the general method I use in order to move forward and change my situations. Building this cycle has allowed me to think about how those three components work with each other to make an outcome. I believe the ideas of this cycle would not be possible without the help of the Girls Who LEAP Program.
- Eva, Grade 9
Comfort zone. Safe. Quiet. Constant. A place for me to just blend into the world going unnoticed. An escape from reality and society’s harsh, judging eyes. However, it is also known as the danger zone for growth. To me, growth didn't mean much besides drinking more milk to get those few extra inches.
Mitra assigned me to be one of the leaders for a group of girls during our time at camp zajac. I was beyond anxious. I’m shy and quiet so public speaking, engaging with the kids and being a good mentor was going to be hard. Would the girls listen? Could I get everyone to participate and have fun? These were my thoughts going into that weekend.
I had to get outside of comfort zone. Be loud and inclusive to everyone in my group. I had to be okay with leading my group rather than following it. I felt very awkward because this isn’t what I do. But that weekend, I felt more and more comfortable. Speaking up didn’t make me feel like my throat would close up. Towards the end I got comfortable being uncomfortable. So even if I still stand at 5”6 tall. I grew in more ways than one.
- Laiana, Grade 11
What Girls Who LEAP Leadership Camp Means To Me.
At Girls Who LEAP , we encourage one another to try new things in a safe welcoming environment. We make memories and new friends, it’s a chance to interact with kids from my school and other schools.
Leadership: we learn the importance of being a leader
Empowerment: we empower each other to be ourselves
Action: we learn respective actions towards ourselves and others around us
Purpose: we learn each of us have our own strengths and purpose
- Tasha, Grade 12
During all my years at Britannia, Mitra has told me a lot of different quotes that she thought would one day stick with me. The one that I remember the most, that definitely stuck with me was the one she told me on the drive home after a basketball game I had. She said Surprise, you need to be “comfortable with being uncomfortable” because that leads to growth.
Fast forward two and a half years later, I was asked to take part in a fashion show for Girls Who LEAP. I immediately said yes but the days leading up to the show, all I could think about was “ how am I going to get out of this?”
To those who know me, they can testify that pictures, cameras, and being in the spotlight is definitely not my thing. However, during the prep for the fashion show, it occurred to me that this was an opportunity to not only get outside of my comfort zone, but an opportunity to connect with the kids there and learn about a culture other than my own. Girls Who LEAP has allowed me to be a mentor to younger girls in my community. It was a chance to celebrate each other and Girls Who LEAP has set the ground work for this. We all just have to take a leap forward with the opportunity we’re given.
- Surprise, Grade 11
On the heels of our 2-week leadership camp last summer, we challenged a group of 14 youth to take ownership of their actions and to make a difference in their community. In less than 3 days, these amazing youth fundraised over $2,000 to host a community feast to feed almost 400 people at Oppenheimer Park!
If the kids can do it, well....so can we, right?
Be comfortable with being uncomfortable. Challenge yourself to step out. JUST DO IT!
There were doubters who said it was a great concept but no way this could be done. There were obstacles left, right and center from the beginning. But I’ve heard it all before. The vision was just too strong to ignore this time. I’m too stubborn. Plus we’ve got an unbelievable crew of mentors willing to sacrifice countless hours. So here we go. Close your eyes, stop thinking about it and just take that LEAP of FAITH...
That's how Girls Who LEAP came alive; out of the abyss from five years of procrastination. Now to clarify, what we're doing with the girls is nothing new. Girls Who LEAP is simply formalizing all the little things that we already do with our girls…just off the side of our desks or on the court or whenever we have to put out fires off the court.
But our youth deserves better! They deserve our undivided attention.
They deserve intentionality. They deserve our best.
To be honest, you put yourself out there and hope for the best. We really had no idea how many girls would show up for our first POWER weekend at Hootsuite. I would have been happy if we had 30-40 girls wake up early on a Saturday morning to spend eight hours with us. SIXTY-EIGHT GIRLS REGISTERED! We had 64 girls, 10 mentors and 1 elder in attendance!
That leap of faith sure paid off. Our vision fulfilled. With time, that crossover of mentorship between our elementary, high school girls, adult mentors and elders will take root. I just know it.
I'm big on quotes and reflection words. At the end of our weekend session, we circled up again to pass around our talking stick and these reflections from the girls pretty much sum it all for me:
Creative. Involved. Enthusiastic. Teamwork. Fun. Powerful. Strong. Empowering. Togetherness. Perspective. Leadership. Friends. Respect for yourself and others. Unity. Community. Support. Safe Space. Fearless. New People. Enjoyable.
Now you see why we do this...
Looking forward to a great year!
LEADER (to lead) - English
MEANUM (Boss or leader) - Gitxsan
Wii Sm’oogyet (Big Chief) - Tsimshian
OGIMAA (leader, chief, head boss) - Ojibwa
h̓ṃ̓ba (to lead, to be first in a row or list, to be ahead of others) - Heiltsuk
NOGA’AD (teacher/leader) - Kwakwaka'wakw
MOODIH (to lead) - Stellat'en
DE’ENTGWIT (the one who leads) - Nisga'a
CHAAMAPIIAQSUP (woman who lives in a good way, woman moving forward in the right direction) - Hesquaiht
PANPATSALH (the one who goes in front) - Nuxalk
领导 (leader) - Chinese
SIYAM (leader) - Squamish
LÍDER (leader) - Spanish
lãnh đạo (leader) - Vietnamese
리더 (leader) - Korean
リーダー (leader) - Japanese
CHEF (leader) - French
BIRÊVEBIR (leader) - Kurdish
PINUNO (leader) - Filipino