CEPA and the Valley Community Association collaborated on a program working with ten lovely young girls to identify positive role models in their lives. After choosing a role model they photographed them as well as wrote essays as to why they chose that person. The next part of the program focused on the girls themselves. They were asked to take self-portraits (as opposed to selfies), portraying what they find most beautiful about themselves, whether inside or out. The program culminated in a reading and exhibit at Valley and here at CEPA and a beautiful panel that includes the photo of the role model along with the self-portrait and essay. Keeli Shannon and Karen Lewis team-taught this 8-week program. This is the third time through with the Role Model Project, all of which have been funded by the WNY Women’s Foundation.
Comments from girls about Role Model Project
I think coming here has made me open my voice and be myself. This project helped me become more confident about my own thoughts and ideas. It taught me that I want to follow in my Mom’s footsteps because she is the manager of the IT department.
This project helped me learn more about my role model, and I learned that I could be silly and sweet but I still could be fierce and strong at the same time.
I want to make the world a happier, better, smiley place. Think about walking around where everyone is talking with EACH OTHER and smiling. If the birds are singing and the sun is shining. And there is a rainbow in the sky. It sounds wonderful right. That is pretty much what would happen if everyone had a chance to do this project.
This project taught me how to express my feelings about my role model. You can do anything if you put your mind to it. I learned that you can’t say that all your beauty is in your face, it’s your personality and it’s how you act towards people.