Confidence is one of the most empowering gifts we can give young girls. For girls who have had their voice and self-worth ripped away, instilling confidence and compassion is a way to break down the barriers that hold them back.

NewSouth NeuroSpine sponsored nine girls, ages 13-17, from Canopy Children’s Solutions’ CARES Center Jackson to attend Girl Talk, an inspirational workshop for girls held at the Grammy Museum in Cleveland, Mississippi. The workshop seeks to build confidence in young girls and inspire them to be leaders and active contributors to their local communities. The girls were seated on the front row, given materials for interactive participation, and some even had the opportunity to go on stage with Girl Talk founder, Haley Kilpatrick, author of The Drama Years.

As a part of Girl Talk, Haley went through the acronym, S.H.I.N.E., which stands for: S-share your passion, H-help others, I-ignite your confidence, N-never hold back, E-enjoy every moment. Each girl took away something different from the discussion.

“Girls are really harder on each other than we should be. We know what each other is going through. Rather than tear people down, we need to help them out.”—A.M., 15

“Girls can do anything they put their mind to.”—K.J., 13

“You don’t have to ‘belong.’ You can stand out and make others want to be a part of what you are doing.”—L.T., 17

“Don’t be afraid to open up to people. The things you have gone through may be where someone else is. If you are open about your past, maybe you can help them get through a hard time too.”—J.B., 16

“Don’t judge others. Everything may look perfect on the outside but they may be hurting on the inside.”—A.G., 14

“Encourage the younger kids. Let them know whatever happens, they are strong. It will be ok.”—V.L., 14

The girls collectively acknowledged that the workshop was helpful and reinforced many lessons they are learning through the CARES Center.

“The skills I learned from Girl Talk go hand-in-hand with what my [Canopy] therapist has taught me,” said L.T. “I can use this to help repair my relationship with my mom.”

Being held at the Grammy Museum added excitement to the event as none of the teens had ever visited the premier attraction. They most enjoyed the exhibits of Michael Jackson, Elvis and Taylor Swift.

“I really liked the museum because you can make your own music,” said K.J.

Each girl returned with helpful reminders of what Girl Talk is all about: empowering girls to have confidence in themselves and inspire it in others. The experience left them with positive memories and the lyrics to Taylor Swift songs stuck in their heads.

This opportunity was made possible by the generosity of NewSouth NeuroSpine in Jackson, Mississippi.  NewSouth NeuroSpine is a loyal Canopy Community Partner and is committed to helping children thrive. THANK YOU!