Vasileah Tsantes 1

Scholarship Finalist: Vasileah Tsantes

For the past two years I have had the amazing opportunity to be a part of The Sisterhood Project. This is a club and organization started by my dear friend Blakely Berryhill. The goal of the organization is to bring awareness to struggles that incoming freshman girls go through. As upperclassmen we mentor them and give an open door for advice. We mentors meet everyday during our lunch period and create conversation topics and presentations. Then once a month we present these topics to freshman girls at our school. We are split into groups and get to have one on one conversations with the girls about these issues. Throughout this year we have discussed loving yourself, social media, mental health, body acceptance, and validation. We felt as a group that it was important for these girls to hear about issues from people that have gone through them. I remember being so scared freshman year of all that I would face; I would have loved an opportunity like this. That is one of the many reasons I joined. I wanted to be the big sister that I never had. My presentation topic was social media. I worked with two other girls to cover the pros and cons of having social media. Something we heavily discussed was posting for yourself, and not for the likes and comments. We expressed to them that follower count and like count does not matter in the long run. What matters is the safe connections you make through using social media. We taught them how to make these safe connections and not give into peer pressure from others. The girls that have attended all the meetings have given us great feedback. They say that they have a new found confidence in themselves. Something we strive to teach the girls is loving yourself first. In our most recent meeting we discussed how you should not rely on validation from others, but instead the love from yourself. Beginning high school with set morals on what your worth is extremely important. Finding boundaries for yourself and others will help tackle many situations any of the girls could come across. Not only do we teach the younger girls, but we as a group have grown so much. We have formed a community surrounded by girl on girl support. I am uplifted everyday by this group and could not be more thankful for the encouragement they give me and others.

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