We are excited to announce a new format for empowHER 2021 - REGISTRATION IS OPEN!

2019 Retreat Sessions

Opening Keynote - Mimi Brown
Amp Up Your Success: How to Live Your Life OUT L.O.U.D.

This dynamic and interactive program includes practical exercises to inspire and empower teen girls to make positive changes that will have a lasting impact. Mimi helped attendees discover how to set goals, own their personal power, embrace their uniqueness, and build long lasting self-esteem and self-acceptance from within.
Keynote

Breakout:
Breaking Barriers

This interactive session explores barriers, limitations, and self-esteem issues that distract girls from freely expressing themselves. In this session girls develop tools to help discover self-worth, inner power, and value for ourselves and others.
4th & 5th Grade

Breakout:
Built to Inspire

This workshop creates a positive and safe environment that allows girls to speak freely regarding body image issues. Instructors provide insight into how nutrition, exercise, hormones and genetics all play a role in the way we are built. They use this knowledge to focus on all of the amazing things our bodies allow us to do each and every day.
4th & 5th Grade

Breakout:
Dramatic Play All Day: Finding Your Art in Leadership

This active and engaging session used theatre and visual arts techniques for understanding leadership as a young woman. Most importantly, this workshop enhanced and developed positive relationships between young women of all ages. Let’s play and THINK outside the BOX!
6th & 7th Grade

Breakout:
Super Girl: Unleashing Your Power to STEP UP!

Middle school is a time when bullying has been shown to occur the most. When bullying happens, peers are usually there to witness it. The majority of peers do nothing to help the victims of bullying. The interesting part is that when peers do step up, bullying stops almost immediately. The more people step up to bullying—the less acceptable it becomes. In this interactive workshop we empower girls to learn and practice the skills needed to step up when they witness bullying – even if the bully is one of their close friends. Girls left the workshop feeling confident in their skills for unleashing their power to stop bullies.
6th & 7th Grade

Breakout:
Facing Your Fears: Not Being Afraid to Fail

Dealing with your fears can feel like an emotional roller coaster. Sometimes when we try to face our fears, feeling like we might fail stops us in our tracks. The key is to lift yourself up to face your fears and rise to the top. After participating in this workshop, girls had the tools to challenge themselves to fight their fears and to reach for success. You are greater than whatever fear you may have; you are powerful and bold. You can learn from your fears. You are a fearless young woman!
8th & 9th Grade

Breakout:
MYTH or FACT: PowHERing Beyond the Influence

We see and hear so much about drugs and alcohol on television, social media, at school, and from our friends or people we know. Sometimes it is hard to know what to think about these issues… and what to do. That is why it is important to know the facts. The more you know—about anything—the better decisions you can make.

One of those decisions might be figuring out what to do or say to a friend or someone you know who might be having trouble with drugs or alcohol. We know that 90% of addictions begin during the teen years. This is the perfect time in your life to get the facts on drugs and alcohol. Having the knowledge can be the key to making your own best decisions and PowHERing beyond the influence.

8th & 9th Grade

Mindfulness & Gratitude

All 450 empowHER girls and their mentors began Saturday morning with a yoga session to center their minds and bodies for the day ahead.

Self-Defense:
Building Confidence & Resiliency

This safety workshop enhanced the ability of the students to use knowledge, skill and power to protect themselves from harm, make good decisions and know and understand their worth. It was also a program enriched with strong self-esteem building components. This session helped build confidence, resilience and teach girls to set boundaries early in life. The best thing about this workshop is that it was taught in an environment where young girls can speak freely, relate to their peers and have fun while learning valuable life skills that will help them as they grow older.

Parenting Your Stressed Out Kid: Jon Novello

Our kids feel stressed. And why wouldn’t they? They have pressures from school, teachers, peers, and a thousand after-school resume building activities to manage. As they get older, the stress mounts as they begin to make decisions about alcohol, drugs, sex, and their entire future! As parents, we want to be helpful, want to impart our years of brilliant, hard earned wisdom to our children to protect them and guide them through these challenging years. But all too often, our efforts to help are met with resistance -- the annoyed, side-eyed glance; the eye roll; the deep sigh; or the dreaded “You just don’t get it!” Parenting through this time can be a challenge. Our stressed-out child may need something from us that might be missing, and our initial efforts to fix the problem may not be quite what they actually need. The good news is that there are effective, efficient ways that you can parent your child or teen through these complicated years. This session gave parents a few more tools for their parenting survival kit.
Parent Session

April's Spirit

“April’s Spirit” took parents on a journey through one family’s personal and raw experience with mental illness. They learned what we, as parents, can provide for our children to educate them on the subject of mental and emotional well-being and help them understand that it is okay to express your feelings and live your life OUT LOUD! We must keep the lines of communication open with our children.

Note: Amy Bocian is the mother of April Bocian, the inspiration for the empowHER Leadership Retreat and whose life we honor each year at this powerful event.

Parent Session