Sand Sisters Los Angeles’ Girl Powerful™ program is a youth empowerment 501(c)3, co-founded by sisters Tedi and Sonya Serge, designed to give female youth the tools to build a strong sense of self. Our mission is to make all girls feel seen, valued and heard.™ Our Girl Powerful philosophy & mental health curriculum is based on socio-emotional learning (SEL) and is endorsed by L. Edmondson Ed. D.
Why We Do It
Today’s children need mental health tools in order to succeed in the future. Learning how to navigate societal expectations, manage emotions and communicate feelings with others is a big task to take on and can sometimes be an internal struggle. Since we live in a social media obsessed world, a majority of our girls express that they feel the need to be perfect. With that immense and unattainable pressure, they are experiencing mental health issues such as anxiety, stress, depression and low self-worth.
Sand Sisters co-founders, Tedi and Sonya Serge, believe it is best to learn social and emotional learning (SEL) skills at a young age to help children recognize consistent patterns of thoughts, feelings and behaviors that make individuals feel happy, valued and secure. Through their own journeys, Tedi saw the need for girls to have access to SEL from her experience as a classroom teacher and enrichment director. Sonya needed SEL personally, when she hit a wall and realized she was neglecting her own mental health and developing bad habits.
How We Do It
Sand Sisters’ Girl Powerful™ program is a dedicated “safe space” where female youth are informally encouraged to build positive self-esteem, set and achieve goals, manage emotions, develop a mind-body connection, self-reflect and find value in female unity.
Girl Powerful enrichment courses are led by our original Girl Powerful journal, which helps each student balance life outside of academics and improves their physical well-being and social progress, therefore creating a strong sense of self. The skills gained are important influences on a child’s individual foundation that will carry them into a thriving and balanced adulthood. You can purchase your own Girl Powerful journal here.
According to DoSomething.org, 7 in 10 girls believe that they are not good enough or don’t measure up in some way, including their looks, performance in school and relationships with friends and family members. Further, by the time a girl reaches the age of 8, her confidence will decline by 30%. Tedi and Sonya Serge, co-founders of Sand Sisters Los Angeles, want to change that statistic and prevent tween girls, ages 8 to 14 years, from falling into the “Confidence Gap.” Sand Sisters Los Angeles’ Girl Powerful model utilizes social-emotional learning (SEL) to increase individual empowerment and prepare tween girls with the tools and skills to develop into their best selves.
The After School Alliance reports that children are at their most vulnerable between the hours of 3:00 and 6:00 pm. Sand Sisters uses this vulnerable time as an opportunity to engage tween and teen girls in Girl Powerful Program, having mentored over 1,260 girls since 2014.
Here are some of our Girl Powerful results, taken from a questionnaire given to 100+ girls who have completed our empowerment course:
- Sand Sister participants say they leave feeling empowered with increased self-worth and friends of the same values
- 100% of Sand Sister participants say their mentor shows genuine interest in their well being
- 100% of Sand Sisters say they feel encouraged to believe in themselves and their abilities
- Participants reported saying they ended their session feeling confident, inspired, happy and included
“You have taught me to love myself just the way I am and I have confidence in everything I do! You have inspired me to have faith in me and all the other girls in this amazing world. I learned that you can be yourself and you don’t have to be afraid to show your emotions.”
– Sand Sister, 5th grade