Young Women Celebrate Girl Empowerment Week at Cy Springs

November 19, 2015

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Cypress Springs High School students participate in “All My Sisters Wear Scarves” theme day on the Thursday of Girls’ Empowerment Week, promoting individualism and fashion sense. Students, pictured (L-R) are Krystal Morales, Ana Nguyen, Manuela Arcos, Whitney Ochiam, Nikesha Keith, Taylor White, Taylor Richard and Raiza Santillan. (Photo by Alexis Parada, Cypress Springs HS)By Kristin Stewart, Cypress Springs HS

Nov. 19, 2015—The Cypress Springs High School Girls RULE club hosted Girls’ Empowerment Week for the fourth year at the campus, held the week of Nov. 9-13.

The week, dedicated to empowerment, fellowship and confidence, sought to boost female students’ self-esteem by reminding them of their favorable qualities and worthiness to be better than average.

The Girls RULE club, which stands for Respect – Understanding – Love – Each Other, was established in 2010 to promote sisterhood, camaraderie and leadership development at Cypress Springs. The 22-member organization’s signature event is Girls’ Empowerment Week.

“Not every girl has someone to tell her that she's great, beautiful or important, so this week helps,” said senior Cypress Springs student Rolake Haastrup.

The week’s activities included:

  • “Mascara and Muscles” on Monday, during which girls were encouraged to wear jerseys to show their confidence and athleticism;
  • “Awesome Girls Wear Pearls” on Tuesday, which encouraged the young ladies to show their purity and beauty;
  • “Reign as Queens” on Wednesday, encouraging wearing crowns and dresses from home countries to show honor and culture;
  • “All My Sisters Wear Scarves” on Thursday, promoting individualism and fashion sense; and
  • “Hot Pink and Turquoise Day” on Friday, focusing on their pride and school spirit.

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Cypress Springs female students embrace Girls’ Empowerment Week. Pictured (L-R) are Oneida Valle, Mariandre Lemus, Briana Torrence, Cassandra Gonzalez, Deandra De Paz, Heidi Gordon and Julissa Bueno. (Photo by Alexis Parada, Cypress Springs HS)

Cypress Springs welcomed special guests and speakers throughout the week, many of whom presented at the Girls Rule & Reign Conference on Nov. 11:

  • Dr. Kimberly Ellison;
  • Dr. Linda Macias, associate superintendent of curriculum and instruction and accountability;
  • Tara Tatum;
  • Kenya Turner director of high school curriculum and instruction;
  • Ruqayya Gibson, Cypress Springs teacher and coach;
  • Soul-Lana Singh, Cypress Ridge special education administrator;
  • Rekka Muddaraj, KHOU;
  • Alissa Cana, University of Houston; and
  • Kirstin Clark, Prairie View A&M University.

Honored guests during the week also included Board of Trustees members Christine Hartley and Darcy Mingoia.

“[The girls] are able to see different aspects of different careers...so I think the guests are important,” said assistant principal Colette Vallott.

According to heartofleadership.org, 1 out of 4 girls experience depression, eating disorders, cutting and other mental health issues. Girls also report that they are anxious, sleep deprived and face significant pressure.

Girls’ Empowerment Week serves to dispel these problems and change girls’ perspective. The guest speakers reinforced the goals of this week—acceptance, positivity and sociability—to give girls the tools they need to overcome the statistics. They inspired girls to strive for success by sharing their achievements, challenging stereotypes and motivating girls to pursue secondary education in order to rise to their full potential.  

“This week is important because all girls need to feel they can do anything they want,” said Sandra Cahee, assistant principal and Girls RULE sponsor. “They believe in themselves and can be successful in terms of goals, dreams and objectives.”

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Cypress Springs students participating in “All My Sisters Wear Scarves” during Girls’ Empowerment Week are (L-R) Chelsea Guerra, Diana Herrera, Sheila Sanchez, Lyannette Gomez, Keylan Perez, Lianett Garcia Lafita, Maria Gonzalez Garcia, Amanda Perez and Naicy Batista. (Photo by Alexis Parada, Cypress Springs HS)

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