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Grow Girls Teaches Youth That Anything is Possible

Grade 9 girls in Woodstock got the experience of a lifetime today at the Grow Girls event that featured keynote speaker Tessa Virtue.

WOODSTOCK - Olympic Gold Medalist Tessa Virtue was in Woodstock tiday for the 2nd Annual Grow Girls Event. 

Grade 9 girls from all five high schools in Woodstock spent the day at the Calvary Church for the event. Grow Girls was started last year by grade 12 student MaKenna Hall as a way to empower girls. She was at the event today and is hoping it will flourish for years to come. 

"So I really hope in five years, this becomes huge, and hopefully we can do a board wide, or an Ontario wide event, something massive." 

Hall passed off the hosting duties this year to CASS students Emma Jull and Hailey Cocker. Jully says they both really enjoyed working on this project.

"We are so honoured to take it on, but we are excited to pass the torch on, it is going to be bittersweet because this was a labour of love and we are so thankful to everyone who made it out." 

Virtue was the keynote speaker this morning with a message of Balance is key and it's important to be multidimensional.

"It is so inspiring to see this initiative, to see young girls, step forward with grow girls, they are encouraging this next generation, they are being leaders and you can feel the energy in here, it's palatable." 

Virtue told the audience that it is ok to feel fear and doubt, it's how we find strength within ourselves, she said that you are enough and you are perfect, just the way you are. Virtue also touched on mental health.

"Mental health is becoming more and more talked about, I think we are reducing that stigma. It is a scary time for youth, when they are being faced with so much pressure, just creating a place where they feel they are not alone and have support is critical." 


G - Grow positivity and self-confidence in youth (empowerment) 

R - Recognize and connect with the supports in the Woodstock community

O - Opportunity to see yourself as a leader

W - Working on yourself through personal wellness

CASS also had a program for grade 9 boys called  Men of Quality.  

It featured Mano Watsa who spoke about the Power to Choose; continuing our focus on HOPE = Having Only Positive Expectations.

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