The 19th Sister-to-Sister Conference for and about girls was held March 11 at the Medina Hospital Conference Center.
This year’s theme, “Be Your Best Selfie,” incorporated presenters and activities that helped make girls aware of how to safely navigate the Internet and utilize social media. Keynote speaker was Deputy Sharon Centner, DARE representative at Highland Schools for the Medina County Sheriff’s Department.
Forty-three girls representing 14 area schools and homeschools participated this year thanks to the support of community contributors and AAUW members. Ten high school student facilitators assisted with the program and planning. All enjoyed icebreakers and hands-on activities, snacks and pizza and received free t-shirts and goodie bags to take home.
An hour before the event ended, a Parent-to-Parent session was held in an adjoining room. Cindy McQuown shared information about the day’s events and feedback/comments from the girls. Brittany Craig provided parents with book and website resources related to the topic. Pieri Levandofsky facilitated the lively discussion and Q&A with the 22 parents who attended.AAW Medina Branch initiated this program with assistance from several other community organizations to fill a need for young women in our area to connect, discuss and network in a casual, fun environment. It followed up recommendations made by the AAUW reports Shortchanging Girls and Hostile Hallways to help girls develop self-esteem and confidence in their abilities.
Sister-to-Sister 2017: The 18th S2S Conference for Girls was held Sun., March 12
This 2017 program,” Stay Strong on the Journey,” provided tips and strategies for girls to map their way through middle school, avoiding “road hazards” along the way. Presenters included Ashley Powell, founder of “So Now What”, an organization dedicated to the advancement of youth in all areas of life, and Brooke Kaylor, personal trainer and fitness coach.
Sister-to-Sister 2016. “Lights, Camera, Action: Middle School!” was held March 6 and featured special guest presenter Sarah Hider, Miss Ohio.
Photos from the event:
Sister-to-Sister 2015 was held March 8 at the Medina Hospital Conference Center.
The theme was: “Be-YOU-tiful Reality”. Our goal was to encourage our participants to be themselves, develop self-confidence and create their own style.
an interactive yoga session encouraged attendees to stretch, bend, relax and meditate.
About 15 parents attended the “Parent-to-Parent” session held in an adjacent room at the end of the afternoon to learn from our presenters. Co-Chairs of the 2015 event were Cindy McQuown and Christie Becker.
Here is a link to Kiki: http://www.kikimag.com
A SUMMARY OF THE 2014 CONFERENCE: “SURVIVOR: MIDDLE SCHOOL”, was a resounding success with 50 girls from our area attending the session.
Pink survivor T-shirts were distributed as girls checked in. In addition, 12 teen facilitators and 13 adult team members participated and 21 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 a “Survivors’ Panel” of young women who offered thoughts from personal experience on how to get through the challenges of middle school: Tiffany Emerson Kosman, a wife, mom and kindergarten teacher and alumna of the Sister-to-Sister program; Veronica Bagley, a senior at Buckeye H.S. who also has junior status at the University of Akron, and Micalah Yovanovich, a sophomore at Norton H. S.
Two guest presenters highlighted the afternoon’s activities. Kathy Magistri, health and physical education teacher in the Cleveland Metropolitan Schools as well as self-defense instructor in Highland Schools after school classes, holds a 5th Degree Black Belt in Taekwando. She discussed strategies and demonstrated self-defense moves that girls could use to overcome an attacker. Brooklyn Whitmyer, a high school sophomore who is the founder and CEO of a small incorporated business, talked about how she turned around a crisis in her life to motivate herself to help others in need. For her business, Brooklyn’s Bridge of Love, she makes and sells chocolate covered pretzels with the profits going to people in our area who need an extra helping hand. The girls then had the opportunity to dip their own pretzels, fruit and marshmallows in the chocolate fountains provided by the S2S committee.
Chat rooms led by teen facilitators focused on “making and keeping friends,” “time and scheduling,” “finding your style,” and “finding your interests”, topics that encouraged the girls to discuss attitudes and characteristics that were important in succeeding socially and academically. Afterwards, the girls presented skits representing what they learned during the afternoon.
Lunch — with pizza and a yogurt bar, and beverages were provided. In addition to the S2S T-shirt, each girl received a folder 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.
Panelists in the Parent session included Amber McLain and Tia Payne of the Rape Crisis Center, Kathy Magistri and Brooklyn Whitmyer. Pieri Levandovski was the moderator.
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; the Rape Crisis Center of Summit and Medina Counties; Solutions Behavioral Healthcare, Inc., and Zonta Club International of Akron-Barberton-Cuyahoga Falls. Teen facilitators represent Brunswick, Buckeye, Cloverleaf, Highland, 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, having completed its 15th session, is one of the longest running programs of its kind in the country and has involved over 700 young women participants.
Click here for photos from 2014 and past events.