The One Girl at a Time Program Is Working to Empower Girls for Life

Kellie Brune demonstrates a self-defense technique as volunteer Julia Bradshaw (right) portrays an attacker during Saturday’s Girls Are Worth It event. The One Girl at a Time program is sponsored by the Women Like Us Foundation. (Photo: Rob Goebel photos/The Star )
Kellie Brune demonstrates a self-defense technique as volunteer Julia Bradshaw (right) portrays an attacker during Saturday’s Girls Are Worth It event. The One Girl at a Time program is sponsored by the Women Like Us Foundation.
(Photo: Rob Goebel photos/The Star )

The One Girl at a Time program, sponsored by the Women Like Us Foundation, started small, as its name suggests. Four years ago, two high school students received the award aimed at helping to empower and mentor girls. Last year, the program had grown to 10 students.

But the Women Like Us Foundation did not want to stop there. The group, which aims to improve the world for women around the world, started hosting four workshops a year, open to any interested Indianapolis-area high school student.

About 60 to 70 girls gathered Saturday at North Central High School for an afternoon of career, relationship and fashion advice — as well as a heavy dose of empowerment.

“Every time I come, I leave with more confidence,” said Shamyra ­Nephew, 17, a North Central junior who has attended other open workshops. “This has made a difference in my life.”

The second annual Girls Are Worth It event featured six professionals, including an attorney and a veterinarian, providing career advice. Participants then made the rounds of six stations, spending about 30 minutes at each. Professional women volunteered their time to teach the girls.

One station focused on giving, the next on image (including fashion and interviewing skills), then relationships, the next on lifestyle (providing ­nutrition hints) and the last on safety. Together, they spell, yes, GIRLS.

At the safety station, Julia Bradshaw, a volunteer for the program and a school coun­selor, offered self-defense tips, such as don’t leave your car running at the gas station and don’t stare at your phone when you’re out in public, so you keep your wits about you.

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Source: Indy Star | Shari Rudavsky, shari.rudavsky@indystar.com

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