Saint Mary’s alumna creates summer seminar for girls

first_imgIn response to the Status of Girls in Indiana report, Saint Mary’s alumna Molly Bell, class of 1997, created the Bloom for Girls seminar, an opportunity for mothers and daughters to celebrate the gift of womanhood in a fun, open environment. The event will take place on Saint Mary’s campus on Sunday, July 13.Bell said she introduced the idea for Bloom for Girls, aimed at young women between the ages of 10 and 19, in the summer of 2012 at a reunion weekend at Saint Mary’s.“I was invited to present a lecture on the inundation of ‘pink’ into the marketplace targeting girls,” Bell said.After discussing the effects of the messages and images to which girls are exposed daily, Bell said she suggested moms start discussing this issue with their daughters before they enter high school.“Bloom for Girls workshops were the solution,” Bell said.Saint Mary’s contacted Bell six months after her discussion and asked if she would like to launch the program on campus, Bell said.“There could be no better fit to launch this program than a campus that supports women and where I spent four years building and harnessing my own power and voice as a woman,” Bell said.Bell said after graduating with a degree in communication, she spent ten years working as an advertising executive, an experience that showed her how companies market to young girls.“I became ingrained in the retail landscape for moms and tween girls when I worked with OshKosh B’Gosh on their national advertising campaign to launch a sub-brand called Genuine Girl,” Bell said.Bell said after attending focus groups, listening to moms all over the country and completing intense research on competitive brands, she thought she understood the market ⎯ that is until she had her daughter six years later.“I began noticing aisles of pink toys, sexy dolls, purple Legos themed with dog grooming and fashion shows and countless princess images, toys and books,” Bell said.Bell said she began to research this change in the market landscape and was able to justify her concerns with several books on the topic, in which she said she found terrifying statistics about the self-esteem and depression rates in American girls.“According to a study by NYU Child Study Center, the average American girl’s self-esteem peaks at age nine,” Bell said. “This was further reinforced by the Status of Girls in Indiana report compiled by Saint Mary’s College that showed Indiana girls have higher rates of depression and suicide attempts than boys.”Although the Bloom program is not connected to the Status of Girls in Indiana report, the event does promote a positive and action-oriented experience to counteract the high rate of depression among young girls.“Raising my daughter in an educated, upper-middle-class community, I naively thought my friends would be aware of these issues,” Bell said. “I quickly decided there was a need to start talking about some of the challenges our daughters are facing and to give our daughters the tools to maneuver through the pressures of technology, body image, friendship, stereotyping, gender biases ⎯ and the list goes on.”Bell said through art projects, interactive activities, skits and journaling, girls and moms are given the tools and conversation starters to build self-esteem.“Studies show that no matter how much extraneous ‘noise’ from the media peers and society surrounds our daughters with, it is within the family that a girl first develops a sense of who she is and who she wants to become,” Bell said. “A parent armed with knowledge can help her daughter reach her full potential.”Bell said the event starts with a few fun group activities that focus on the goals of the seminar. Participants also have the opportunity to share personal experiences in the workshops.Following the discussion, Bell said participants break for a catered lunch and then participate in a workshop called “Love Your Body.”“This workshop will address media images of our bodies versus a healthy body, inner beauty rather than outer beauty, a mother’s influence on a daughter’s body and our power over our own bodies,” Bell said.Bell said she hopes moms and daughters will leave the seminar with new knowledge and tools to spark conversation when friendship crises, bullying and other self-esteem challenges occur.“I’m thrilled to bring this program to my alma mater and to a place that offers countless empowering opportunities for women that extend far beyond Bloom for Girls,” Bell said. Tags: Bloom for Girls, Indiana report, moms and daughters,, seminar, SMClast_img read more

Why Pat’s new career path is one for the history books!

first_imgDonegal ETB’s Further Education and Training (FET) Service is set to launch their latest diverse range of courses for the new term, offering new training and career opportunities to learners of all backgrounds. In the lead up to September 2018, Donegal Daily will hear from past learners who have successfully graduated from Donegal ETB’s FET courses. This week, we talked to Pat McGarvey, a Gaoth Dobhair resident who completed a QQI Level 5 Business Administration course that led him to a brand new career path. Now, Pat has a degree in History and works on local heritage projects in West Donegal. “Training with the ETB opened up a different avenue for me. I love my work now,” Pat said. Pat, who is originally from Glasgow, returned to study as a mature student after spending his life working in the construction and fishing industries. The Business Administration course at the Gortahork Further Education and Training (FET) Centre gives learners the knowledge and computer skills they need for employment and in a range of business contexts and to progress to further and higher education and training. “The course gave me more confidence in my own ability,” said Pat. With improved computer skills, he went on to study history at St. Angela’s College in Sligo. Having pursued his passion, Pat enjoys working at Ionad Naomh Padraig in Gweedore. He has researched local historical projects to form an easily accessible archive for locals to see land records and census details from the region. “The Business Administration course was the stepping stone that took me to college, there I honed the skills that let me do this job,” Pat said. The programme gives learners a general grasp of many subjects and computer programmes, including Customer Service, Word Processing, Powerpoint and Spreadsheets“I’d recommend the course as it touches on all the basic aspects of business and gives the opportunity to work on subjects where your skills are weak,” Pat said. The tutors went above and beyond to ensure all students progressed, Pat said: “The tutor gave freely of her time after hours to help any learner who needed it, this made a difference to me personally.”Pat also benefited from completing his course through the Vocational Training Opportunities Scheme (VTOS) while studying. This meant that he continued to receive his jobseeker’s benefits during the course period. Pat said he followed the principle of ‘If you’re not earning, you should be learning’ to boost his skills for better employment opportunities. Returning to education as a mature learner can be daunting, but he said that he is glad he took the leap. Pat is now looking forward to taking on more projects as he marks a new era in his career. Donegal ETB’s FET Service offers a wide range of full-time and part-time courses in the field of business and administration right across the county, many at Level 5. On a full-time basis these include Business Studies, Computer Skills for Employment Major Award in Business Administration, Digital Marketing with Business and Tourism, Digital Sales and Marketing (Career Traineeship) and the Accounting Technicians Ireland course. Part-time, a single module in Business Administration Skills is available.Visit to find more information about Business programmes with Donegal ETB starting in September 2018 in Donegal Town, Gortahork, Letterkenny, Stranorlar and Gaoth Dobhair or email with course inquiries.Many of Donegal ETB’s FET courses are co-funded by the Irish Government and the European Social Fund as part of the ESF Programme for Employability, Inclusion and Learning (PEIL) 2014-2020.Why Pat’s new career path is one for the history books! was last modified: June 20th, 2018 by Rachel McLaughlinShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:BusinesscareersDonegal ETBeducationtraininglast_img read more