SHE empowers young women
In today's society, girls face a variety of pressures in their everyday lives, whether it's pressures to look beautiful, pressures to act a certain way or pressures to follow the crowd.
At Woodbury High School, two students are trying to show their fellow high school girls that they don't have to give in to the pressures.
Woodbury High School seniors Kiara Jung and Yididya Yimer have started a new club called SHE.
"SHE is basically just a woman-empowerment group where girls can set aside their differences and come together and talk about topics that affect us today," Yimer said.
SHE's mission statement is "to promote unity, ethical responsibility, mentorship, and to bring awareness to health, mental, physical, and spiritual, amongst women of various backgrounds."
The WHS club is part of a larger SHE movement that started in 2008 at Central High School in St. Paul.
SHE has grown to include a group at the University of Minnesota.
"We're trying to create an environment where anyone can join and set aside those differences and look at the similarities we have," Jung said, "and have fun at the same time."
SHE plans to meet every other Friday before school to discuss a variety of different topics affecting young women today.
Some of the topics include: inner beauty, self-confidence, careers, beauty and fashion.
"We're trying to get the message across of inner beauty," Jung said. "It's about empowering young women and building confidence."
"It's about realizing that the mirror is not all that you see," Yimer said.
One of the first things that SHE will have its members do is sign a Body Peace Treaty, which is "vowing to yourself that no matter what, you are who you are," Yimer said.
In addition to meeting together to discuss the many different topics, SHE is also planning to hold fundraisers for women's shelters that emphasize inner beauty and empowerment. Some of the fundraisers include the SHE Chic Clothing Drive, fashion shows and other campaigns to show inner and outer beauty.
Both Yimer and Jung said they hope SHE draws between 30 and 40 girls to the group and that it makes an impact on girls' lives for the better.
"A lot of girls have image problems and low self-esteem and SHE can help you just build yourself up," Yimer said. "SHE is allowing girls to come together and letting them know that they can talk about whatever they want and there isn't any pressure - we're promoting a sisterhood without pressure."