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Organizer: AAUW Event Goal Is To Inspire Girls To ‘Achieve Higher Goals’ | Lifestyles

Pottawattamie County middle and high school girls are invited to dream big at the Girl Power on Display Forum on Saturday, September 17.

The free event will run from 10:00 a.m. to noon at HH “Red” and Ruth Nelson Council Bluffs Boys & Girls Club, 815 N. 16th St. in Council Bluffs, with registration beginning at 9:30 a.m. It is offered by the American Association of University Women, Loess Hills Branch, with the help of a $1,000 grant from the Community Foundation of Western Iowa, according to branch member Mary Anne Kuhr.

“We want to inspire girls to achieve higher goals,” said Vergarie Sanford, branch member who led the organization of the inaugural event last year. “We would really like the mothers of middle school and high school girls to take them out.”

Girls will have the opportunity to discuss positive life choices regarding education, training, career paths and personal success and begin to develop leadership skills, according to a press release from Loess’ AAUW Hills.

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“We think this is the perfect age group to develop these skills that they can take with them throughout their lives,” Sanford said.

Four exceptional women from different backgrounds and generations will share stories on their path to success. Speakers will include Barbara Sanford, social worker and relaxation specialist at Mount Zion Refuge Center; Dr. Malena Rousseau, program officer at the Iowa West Foundation; DeMeria Bruce, CEO/Owner of Fulton Homes Education Center; and Viridiana Almanza, director of programming at the Latino Center of the Midlands.

“We thought that if underprivileged girls or other girls met someone they could talk to or could see someone who was successful in their life, it might help them have a better school year,” said Kuhr.

The relaxation specialist will provide girls with a way to deal with stress, whether it’s challenges at school or in life.

“When we did this last year, the girls loved it,” Kuhr said.

Donut breakfast and packed lunches will be served. Door prizes will be awarded and each girl will receive a gift bag. Parents are welcome.

AAUW is a national organization of women who value education and work to contribute to a brighter future for all women and girls. For more information, email [email protected] or visit Loess Hills AAUW on Facebook.