The Sister-To-Sister summit gave nearly 100 girls from Vine, Holston, Carter and Whittle Springs Middle Schools the skills to tackle challenges every young woman faces.

In small breakout sessions, the girls developed action plans for addressing drugs and alcohol, bullying, dating, peer pressure, body esteem and academics.

Each group developed take-away messages for their peers, such as:

  • Drugs and Alcohol: The best ‘me’ is a drug-free me. Be creative, positive and constructive.
  • Body Image: We should be loved for who we are and what we do, not how we look.
  • Fitting In: Surround yourself with leaders.
  • Bullying: Stand up for what you believe in, even if you’re standing alone.
  • Dating: Don’t reveal all of yourself. Save yourself for someone special.

The girls were motivated with a rousing speech from Ruthie McIntyre, a retired educator and local storyteller.

“Most of the girls in today’s society don’t have anyone to connect with or to look up to. This event gives them the perfect opportunity to do just that,” Maya Harris, high school facilitator for Sister-To-Sister, said. “As a former participant, I feel like the organization leads most girls in a better direction, teaches us to have respect for ourselves and respect for others.”

Sister-to-Sister is a collaboration between the MDC, the American Association of University Women and Pellissippi State Community College.

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