Girls Volunteer At Sister to Sister Summit

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Elizabeth Chenok, Staff Writer

Tomorrow, a select group of high school girls from Miramonte, as well as all the other schools in the district will participate in the Sister to Sister 2013 Summit. Sister to Sister (S2S) is an organization created by the American Association of University Women (AAUW) to empower middle and high school girls.

S2S is a program where high school facilitators train for a summit, which occurs in March, for middle school girls. They learn about communication, friendship and counseling skills. At the summit, there are guest speakers, presentations, small groups and panel discussions all run by the facilitators.

S2S helps the teen facilitators gain confidence and improve in public speaking skills for the summit.

“S2S is a really cool program because I’ve met a bunch of friends from different schools,” junior Emma Patton said. “I’ve also learned to be more confident in speaking to large groups.”

Girls who have participated in S2S for longer than a year are eligible to be on the leadership board. These select girls serve as heads of committees and put in extra time at meetings. Many of the facilitators went through S2S in middle school.

“The leadership board is different because I feel a lot more involved in the process,” junior Ariel McLean said.

Sister to Sister is focused on support and growth. GROWTH – Girls Reaching Out With Their Hearts–is one of S2S’s main philosophies. During training, facilitators learn non-judgmental listening skills and commenting skills to provide an open space for middle school girls to share.

This year’s summit theme is “Finding Your Spark.” Sessions will cover body image, peer pressure, relationships and friendships. Small group discussions branch into further depth, with two facilitators and about five middle school girls.

There will also be a woman from Kids Power teaching self defense. “I’m excited for the self-defense part of the day. It’s not something we’ve ever had before,” McLean said.

“I’m looking forward to the turnout at this year’s summit,” Patton said. “It’s always a super fun time.” The summit is held at Bentley School with 35 facilitators. Information can be found at http://www.aauwoml.org/s2s/register.html.