Lauren Pryor wrote -
On May 5, 2012, I will be combining two of my passions by running my 3rd half marathon while representing a program that is near and dear to my heart. Over the next 10 weeks I will be training for the Capital City Half Marathon in Columbus, Ohio while working to meet a fundraising goal of $1,000 to support the Ruling Our eXperiences (ROX) girls empowerment program. I first became involved in the ROX program as a Program Facilitator during my graduate studies in Counselor Education at The Ohio State University. Since then, my life hasn’t been the same.
While gaining counseling experience within several Columbus area schools, it was evident that today’s adolescent girls are faced with a myriad of unique challenges and that they aren’t equipped with the skills or support needed to successfully and healthily navigate these challenges. While women have come far in asserting themselves in the academic and work-related fields, today's media and society have presented a new set of challenges for adolescent girls. The negative and distorted messages that girls receive about how they should look or act bombard their daily lives. Now, as a School Counselor working at the high school level, I see daily examples of this. Today's pop stars send messages that self-worth is gained through sex appeal. Reality shows that follow the daily lives of women teach girls that female relationships should be dramatic and relationally aggressive and that there is value in materialistic lifestyles. More worth is being placed on female appearance and fame rather than their intellectual thoughts and abilities. Additionally, the increased prevalence of social networking adds another complicated layer to the lives of girls. Girls’ relationships and relationship challenges are now intensified by the presence of entities like facebook, Twitter and texting.
The ROX program has been in existence since 2006 and to date, over 1,500 girls in grades 5-10 in Ohio and Pennsylvania have participated in ROX programming. ROX is an evidence based program which means the program has research to support its interventions and outcomes that say what we are doing is actually impacting girls in a substantial way. In a nutshell, ROX helps girls focus on building self-esteem, their confidence and their self-concept. More specifically, ROX equips girls with skills necessary to negotiate the challenges of adolescence that are unique to being a girl. The program is 12 weeks and involves 20-22 group lessons focused on team-building, healthy relationships, cyberbullying, friendships, girls bullying, sexual harassment, dating violence, boundary setting, self-defense, body image, self-esteem, leadership, and academic and career development.
Having been involved in the ROX program for 3 years now, I am a testament to the value and necessity of the support and encouragement the program gives girls. I have seen first hand the positive impact it has on girls and have been thanked by countless parents for “the opportunity” ROX gave them to initiate valuable conversations with their daughters. ROX has also greatly impacted my life. For me, the responsibility of being a role model to young girls has been life-changing. My involvement in the program has not only made me a better School Counselor but it has made me a stronger leader and a more confident young professional. ROX has also created in me a passion for encouraging girls that there is strength and beauty in being themselves. It is my turn to give back…
How you can help:
As the ROX program continues to expand and moves into a new phase of being its own non-profit 501(c)3 organization, it relies on the support of grant funding and charitable donors (like yourself) to continue to impact the lives of girls. $75 is the cost to sponsor one girl. Your donation of ANY amount is GREATLY appreciated and will help support the program and impact the life of a girl. Please join me in helping to spread the word that “Being a Girl ROX!”
Thank you in advance for your support an encouragement!