Empowering Our Young Women 

Empowering Our Young Women 

On May 1st, Mercy Home for Boys & Girls hosted its inaugural Empowerment Day for our young women. Mercy Home’s Leader Council designed this event, held in the backyard at our girls home, to inspire confidence, strength, self-love, and self-awareness through fun-filled activities and vulnerable group discussion. 

Mercy Home’s Leader Council is a board of accomplished professional women who are passionate about education and its ability to change the trajectory of our young people’s lives. With their leadership, Empowerment Day was a morning of laughter, dancing, and mentoring. 

A large group of women are gathered under a tent and seated at decorated tables to encourage, mentor, and celebrate the young women that reside at Mercy Home's Walsh Campus.

Rita McGovern, Mercy Home’s Director of Affiliated Constituencies, was delighted with the event and credits the members for its success. “We have a lot of members on the Leader Council that do professional coaching for executives,” she said. “And they were able to turn this into something I never would have imagined.”

Our girls arrived early and were welcomed with a continental breakfast of bagels, pastries, fruit salad and hot coffee. As they enjoyed their treats, Leader Council members mingled with our young ladies and offered words of encouragement and career and educational advice. Coming from a multitude of industries, our Leader Council members were able to engage with our girls who themselves hold a wide variety of career and educational interests. 

In addition to Leader Council members, we also have our girls to thank for the richness of the day’s activities and for its focus on diversity. During Empowerment Day’s planning phase, Leader Council members were dedicated to applying the input they received from our young ladies. Rita said that members ensured diversity among those invited to participate. 

After all had settled in for the program, an ice-breaker lifted everyone to their feet yet again. Led by a Leader Council member’s guest, our coworkers and young women joined together in a synchronized dance routine they had to learn on the spot. This guided improvisation loosened nerves and inspired camaraderie as everyone memorized each new step in the dance’s choreography. 

“This really put all the youth and adults at ease, and ready to have fun,” Rita noted. 

A single table covered in magazines and crafting supplies is surrounded by women as they create vision boards, externalizing their dreams and hopes for their futures.

Next, a Mercy Home Leader Council member introduced an exercise called “Sage and Saboteur.” In it, our girls were taught how to identify their inner saboteur, or our self-judging voice, and how it can be quieted by their inner sage, which is the confident and self-loving voice we also have inside of us. Then, our young ladies turned to one another to share their sages and saboteurs with each other in order to relate, support, and deepen their relationships. 

Inspired by their inner sage, a member led our girls through a guided visualization exercise. With their eyes closed, their minds were open to imagine their greatest dreams, hopes, and ambitions. And their inner sages offered them the encouragement they will need to achieve these possibilities in the future. 

Finally, members and coworkers provided the girls with art materials to craft vision boards.  Girls and coworkers flipped through magazines and supplies to complement their creative expression. The results showcased a wide variety of our girl’s unique goals and personalities.

“A lot of our youth don’t have a lot of stability, so we didn’t ask them to make a vision board for the next five years,” said Craft Cottage Coordinator Becca Bowlin. “They’re just trying to get through their time at Mercy Home,” she said. 

“So while we do have goal setting, there’s also a mindfulness there to not have everything planned out yet. So some of our youths made boards about dancing, sports, food, and even their inner sage or saboteur,” she said, focusing on more current or near-term concerns and goals. 

As the successful Empowerment Day was wrapping up, the delicious aroma of Mexican cuisine wafted through the backyard. A local and Mercy Home favorite, Adriano’s Tacos provided our guests with a spread of delicious food, freshly prepared on site with portable grills and freshly packed ingredients. 

Mercy Home is so thankful for the friendship of our Leader Council for their continued dedication to empowering our young people and being excellent role models.

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