The 14th Sister-to-Sister Conference, “Building Your Best Future,” was held Sunday, March 10, at Medina Hospital.
Fifty-five girls registered for the event; 12 teen facilitators and 10 adult team members participated and many parents joined the Parent-to-Parent session held during the last hour of the program. Christie Becker, of the Ohio State University Extension Office, Diane Dockrill of Solutions Behavioral Healthcare, Inc., and Cindy McQuown, of Cornerstone Wellness Center, served as co-chairs of this year’s event.
The program included an “Inspiration Panel” of women who build their careers on their personal strengths: Annie Damm, RN, Post Operative Specialist at Medina Hospital; Mary Kennedy, RN, BSN, MBA, Chief Nursing Officer at Medina Hospital, and Karen Sands, BS in mathematics, a systems engineer for a firm that implements computer systems.
The highlight of the program was the hands-on building project that saw the girls divided into pairs to engineer and construct a motorized spin art machine out of Lego blocks. They utilized teamwork, organization and collaboration as they assumed roles of “foreman” and “builder.” Medina’s Bricks 4 Kidz creative director Barbara Lee and instructor Kathleen Hoose supervised the efforts. Bricks 4 Kidz is an after school program that provides integrated learning through the use of Lego bricks to stimulate creativity and imagination in children based on the STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics).
Members of the Heartbeats Jump Rope Team demonstrated jumping skills and led a mini clinic outside under the portico. The team is coached by Pam Evans and has competed in national and international competitions.
Chat rooms encouraged the girls to discuss attitudes and characteristics that were important in building a strong foundation for their future while they created personal paper bag scrapbooks. Afterwards, the girls presented skits representing what they learned during the afternoon.
Lunch — with pizza and a yogurt bar, and beverages were provided. Each girl received a S2S T-shirt, folders with programming materials, and a goodie bag to take home. Snacks and materials were made available through individual contributions from members of the community and sponsoring organizations.
Members of the planning committee repesent community organizations that have the well-being of young women in mind: The American Association of University Women, Medina County Branch; Cornerstone Wellness Center; Medina County District Libraries; Medina Hospital; Ohio State University Extension; Solutions Behavioral Healthcare, Inc., and Zonta Club International ABC. Teen facilitators represent Brunswick, Buckeye, Cloverleaf, Medina and Norton high schools.
Sister-to-Sister is a national dialogue for girls initiated by the AAUW to help understand the concerns of our nation’s young women and how these concerns affect their educational experiences. It provides an opportunity to network with girls from other schools and learn from older role models in a non-threatening atmosphere.
Medina County’s Sister-to-Sister Conference, one of the longest running programs of its kind in the country, has involved over 700 young women participants.
Click here for photos from the 2013 Sister-to-Sister event.