Empowerment Day Highlights Importance of Boundary Setting

Empowerment Day Highlights Importance of Boundary Setting

Setting healthy boundaries is an important part of maintaining good mental health. Yet it’s something with which many struggle. This is particularly true among the age group who resides at Mercy Home. A recent study conducted by the Thriving Center of Psychology indicates that Gen Z individuals, who make up the majority of Mercy Home’s youth, face the greatest challenges in establishing boundaries compared to those in other generations.

Further research indicates that this issue is particularly pronounced among women, who are frequently conditioned from an early age to prioritize others’ needs over their own. Consequently, more than half of American women self-identify as people pleasers, often to the detriment of their own wellbeing.

I am truly so impressed by their ability to learn, share, and grow.

Mercy Home’s Leader Council, a group of accomplished professional women, seek to combat issues just like this one with our annual Empowerment Day. This year’s third annual event was held recently at our Walsh Campus. Over a dozen volunteers gathered with 33 of our young women to talk about setting healthy boundaries.

The event began with a delicious breakfast from Panera and All Aboard Cheese & Charcuterie. Volunteers, coworkers, and our young ladies chatted before the event began with some dancing and movement led by Morgan Martin from Live and Believe Nutrition. After everyone was warmed up, Martin and Rebecca Nieves Huffman, a lifestyle influencer and founder of RNH Coaching, conducted a brief role play to illustrate what a lack of boundaries might look like.

Participants split into small groups to discuss whether they felt that they lacked boundaries and how to shift their mindset to one that embraces boundary setting. The groups then reviewed and shared tips for healthy boundaries. The youth discussed how to “say yes to yourself” and wrote down positive things they could do for themselves.

“I am so proud of our youth for their full participation in Empowerment Day,” Amy Schulz, associate vice president of the Walsh Campus, said. “They were open to conversations and so willing to build on their skills regarding maintaining healthy boundaries with others in their lives. I am truly so impressed by their ability to learn, share, and grow.”

The groups came back together for a craft activity focused on creating affirmations with Martin. They wrote their personal boundaries on popsicle sticks and glued them together to form a fence. The girls were reminded to recall this visual representation when establishing their boundaries in the future.

The intentionality to support our youth how they need to be supported was paramount in each planning session we facilitated.

“The topic was so applicable to everyone in the room, and we all learned something about ourselves and each other,” Schulz said. “I hope we will carry this information with us as we walk through life.”

The event closed out with a stretching activity and a delicious lunch. Food for the event was provided by All Aboard and Flippin’ Flavors, as well as juice from Bani’s Beets, all diverse, local small businesses that inspired our young women further. It was a meaningful day of essential life lessons for those in attendance.

“I want to express my gratitude and thanks to the Leader Council members for supporting and helping to plan this event,” Schulz said. “The intentionality to support our youth how they need to be supported was paramount in each planning session we facilitated. Like many others, I am already looking forward to next year.”

We echo Schulz’s thanks to our Empowerment Day committee, Susan Golden, Liz Evans, Maureen Gainer Reilly, Mary Lee Schneider, and Bridget Gibbons. A special thank you to Bridge Gibbons who secured the funds from Ullico that made the day possible.

Other volunteers include Mercy Home board members, Felicia Davis Blakley, Kathy McCabe and Susan Tomilo. Guest volunteers include Latoya Conners Gray, Gloria Jackson, Taneasha Prunty, Jessica Strang, and Zainab Taiwo. Thanks also to the Mercy Home co-workers who helped make the event a success especially Becca Bowlin, Rita McGovern, Amy Schulz, Rachel Twarog, and Katie Wozniak. 

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