Empowering young women

Empowering young women

Samantha Kay says the I Am Youth Project helped to unlock her individuality.

This year, she’s involved in the program as a mentor to help the next generation of developing women. 

The I Am Youth Project includes events, activities and workshops designed to help young women improve their self esteem, confidence and body image. The youth project evolved from a concept created by locals Leanne Everett and Abbie Poke, fostering self love. Adapted by Circular Head Council with Circular Head Aboriginal Corporation and Soroptimist International of Circular Head, the youth program was introduced in 2017 and will continue in years to come. 

Sami, 19, participated in her first year of the I Am Youth Project last year. She first became acquainted with the program through her connection with Jodie Saville and felt as though it was worth signing up as a way to build her confidence and inspire others to do the same.

One aspect which stood out to Sami was an activity which involved writing your name on a piece of paper and passing it around the group. Each person would write one thing they liked about one another and at the end you would be left with a collection of all the things about yourself which others admired. 

Sami also notes the significance of the fashion show and the role it played in building confidence within the girls.

“At the start of the project, none of those girls would’ve had the confidence to go ahead with it,” she says. 

“Getting up on that stage was a big step forward for all the girls who were involved.”

The project helped Sami reconsider the way she perceives other people and think twice before passing judgement. 

“I learnt that even the people who seem most confident have insecurities,” she says. 

“It taught me to appreciate how others express themselves.”

This year, Sami has decided to go one step further and act as a mentor rather than a participant in the program. 

She aims to help others open up, increase their confidence and be there for anyone who may be struggling with self doubt. 

Sami says the I Am Youth Project is a worthwhile experience and encourages young women to get involved. The next project starts this week. 

Circular Head Christian School student Oskana Popowski researched, interviewed and wrote this piece during work experience. 

Samantha Kay, 19, with German shepherd Buster will take part in this year’s I Am Youth Project as a mentor. Photo courtesy of Leanne Everett Photography.