After almost four years of participating in Pathways programs, three Carteret High School seniors had a unique opportunity to share some of their experiences and knowledge with other teens throughout New Jersey.
Samantha Mahoney, Samaria Walker-Raeford and Andrea Rivas presented a workshop at the annual Planned Parenthood Conference at Brookdale College.
The workshop, entitled "Reflections: Loving the Real You", encouraged teens to compare themselves to icebergs given that such a small percentage is visible above water, while the majority of our true selves remains masked below the surface. The CHS students invited other teens to explore what's below their surface which sparked group conversations as teens identified similarities with one another. At the end of the workshop all participants received a positive affirmation card as a reminder that every individual is unique and special.
Each year, Pathways brings students from Carteret High School to the annual Planned Parenthood teen conference. "Attended by students from across New Jersey, the dynamic and interactive conferences provide attendees with the opportunity to interact with their peers in an engaging environment. The conferences include workshops and keynote presentations on a variety of sexual health and related topics for teens.
Workshop topics vary each year and range from anger management, prescription drug abuse, driving distractions, gender identity, to ‘for guys only’ – a discussion of issues facing teen boys, and ‘for girls only’ – a discussion of issues facing teen girls" (PPCGNNJ)
Schools from around New Jersey applied to present at the conference this year. Based on a description of the program Anna Pepe, the leader of Girl Talk, submitted, Carteret students were chosen. It was a wonderful honor and testament to the amazing work happening in Girl Talk all year round.
Following their presentation, the CHS students participated in a "Teens Improvising Real Life" workshop. They described it as a great learning opportunity and are eagerly working on plans to present the activity to Girl Talk.
Samaria Walker-Raeford also participated in the panel discussion held during the conference. All three girls demonstrated excellent leadership skills, advanced public speaking abilitiy and are exemplary role models within the school and for young women everywhere.