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July 24, 2012 > REALgirl(r) class turns girls into leaders

REALgirl(r) class turns girls into leaders

By Maureen Garrett

The first Bay Area REALgirl(r) camp just wrapped up in Union City and eight girls, ages from 9 to 13, learned about empowerment, independence, and inner-strength. This week-long class covered a multitude of topics that girls face every day such as how to meet challenges, overcome percieved obstacles, respond to bullying, feel comfortable with puberty, and develop critical thinking skills in order to filter media images and the unrealistic standards and shallow values promoted by the media. Empasis was placed on the importance of education, developing independence, and developing the strength and pride to define themselves.

These amazing girls entered the class on Monday, a bit shy and unsure of themselves; they emerged on Friday with the ability to speak to the group with confidence about what they can each accomplish by being a leader instead of a follower; enthusiastic about pursuing their goals and dreams through education.

REALgirl(r) does not merely lecture but instead, teaches through a variety of techniques such as art, dance, self-defense, meditation, and theater play. Some of the art projects included making a Vision Board of their goals and Body Maps to appreciate their own body, embracing their own unique shape and size. After learning about women who were leaders and fighters - strong women in history who changed the world against all odds - the girls created a warrior mask, representing their own fierceness, reminding them of their own inner reservoir of strength. Sophia B., a particularly dynamic 13-year-old, said it was great to hear and share positive comments about her classmates because usually people just want to point out negatives.

The girls left camp with new perspectives and embraced greater possiblities for their own life, such as Kaitlyn who said she could do anything she set her mind to and would now like to become a pediatrician. Sophia M. said she had learned that men don't have to be at the head of the table and in a position of power all the time, but that she can have a valid claim to that spot for herself. Alejandra said it didn't matter what she did in her future and realized she didn't need to rely on someone else to support her - she is capable of supporting herself.

REALgirl(r), the brainchild of life coach Anea Bogue, CLC, B.Ed, M.A., has become a whirlwind success in the Los Angeles area, receiving accolades from the girls and their parents. One parent, a senior manager at Disney said, "I can't believe the change in my daughter since she took this class. Thank you." Kimberly Gibbons, MA, is the California Regional Manager and Lead Instructor for REALgirl(r) in the Bay Area. Based on the reaction of these girls, demand for these classes will be great. For more information look on the web at

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