Severson Sisters program helps girls build self-esteem - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Severson Sisters "Super Girls" program helps girls build self-esteem

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One valley woman has won a national award for the work she's doing to help girls cope with bullying.

Terese Sanchez is one confident 12-year-old with big dreams.

"I want to be a Broadway performer in London at the West End -- my future, I believe is so bright and I'm talented," she said.

But just two years ago, Terese was singing a very different tune.

Her friends were bullying her;  calling her names -- they even pushed her off a set of bleachers.

"My bullying situation really didn't make me feel like I belonged in this world," she said.

The tide turned for Terese when she left her school, and found the non profit "Severson Sisters."

Founder Carrie Severson says the organization has empowered over 900 girls in just two years; teaching them to have healthy relationships, and to discover the "Super Girl" within.

"Super Girl is someone that expresses herself confident unique and owns it and also knows how to do it for someone else," she said.

Today, these middle school girls are taking part in Severson Sister's "Super Girl Program," expressing themselves with "vision boards" that show the super women they hope to become.

"Since I'm Hawaiian, I like it when I go there, I kind of get to do whatever and feel confident about what I do," said Gabrielle Arcilla.

Callie Young added, "I related the word zesty to fearless."

The girls use the program's "Super Girl Guide to Respect" for other self-empowerment exercises, some targeted specifically toward bullying. 

Today's "power word" exercise helps girls build a healthy self image.

"These are words that they identify themselves with that they identify themselves with words strong, loving respectful, loyal, fun, confident," said Carrie.

Severson Sisters employs a team of teachers, psychologists, social workers and life coaches to create and deliver the "Super Girl" curriculum.

Schools and community groups across the valley have requested the program for girls as young as 7.

"Girls bully psychologically.  They're the ones that belittle others, they ostracize and spread rumors and the peak of it is middle school," explained Carrie.

Terese will start 7th grade this fall, ready to help other girls discover their own super girl within. She hopes other girls who've been bullied know that there is hope.

"Always believe in yourself and the situation will be better," she said.

Eventually, Carrie would like to offer the Super Girls program globally.

Severson Sisters is fundraising to offer the program as a class in three valley schools.

Severson Sisters Super Girls program
855-5-SISTER (855-574-7837)

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