The Coalition for Healthy Communities held its 10th annual Young Women's Conference.
The event saw participation by 18 high schools from across Middlesex County. A total of 140 young women attended this full day conference, which was held at the St. John Neumann Conference & Banquet Center in Piscataway, NJ.
The conference, titled "My Journey, My Voice: Empowering Young Women," provided attendees with interactive and educational activities designed to help them gain valuable knowledge and resources to support them throughout their lifetime.
New for this year, conference attendees were encouraged to take back a specific programming idea for implementation over the months remaining before the end of the school year. With each attending school group participating, it will ensure a broader county-wide impact. The theme for this year is "You Are Beautiful." Students from Dunellen High School adopted this campaign for school-wide implementation and then presented their ideas to the students at the conference. "You are Beautiful" is a weeklong event designed to build self-esteem and self-awareness in teen girls. It starts off as a whisper, moves on to silent messages and then ends with the girls saying it loud that they are beautiful. Coalition members will work with participating schools to help them develop and implement "You are Beautiful" campaigns locally.
Attendees were also treated to a special dynamic performance of "Voices" by NCADD's Acts of Prevention™ theater troupe. Acts of Prevention™ debuted at the First Annual Young Women's Conference back in 2004 and have since presented to thousands of students and professionals across the state. Voices is written to empower young women, utilizing real problems that young people all too often face alone on issues such as drug abuse, eating disorders, teen pregnancy, homosexuality, and other such as drug abuse, eating disorders, teen pregnancy, homosexuality, and other problems that teens struggle with every day. This performance teaches young woman that there is help when they need it, and that no matter what may happen, they are not alone.