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Seminar held to encourage young girls

Girls ages 10 to 18 had an opportunity to learn more about what God says about them and how to live a successful life.

I Am Enough Ministries hosted a seminar from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Aug. 21 at Hillpoint Elementary School.

In light of hardships growing up and now raising a teenager, founder Desiree Nazareth found that helping young girls was a passion she wanted to pursue.

“What made me want to do this were personal experiences I went through in this age range,” said Nazareth. “Also, being a single parent of a teen and my experiences with her led me to feel obligated and a passion to pour into these young ladies seeing how many don’t love themselves and believe they are not enough.”

This is the second “I AM” Conference held. The previous one was in 2019 in Franklin. Last year, there was not one due to the pandemic. Then this year, even though there were doubts, Nazareth decided to go forward. Although the previous event hosted about 20 girls, it more than doubled with 53 girls attending this year.

Even though Nazareth felt hesitant to start again this year, the overwhelming support she received let her know that this was what she was supposed to do.

Keywords including, bold, beautiful, smart, confident and courageous were repeated throughout the day. These words were included in their I AM statements that the girls recited to remember their true worth. After their breakfast, the girls split into breakout sessions to learn about specific topics that would help them through life.

Motivational speaker Shelton Artis Jr. spoke to the girls about healthy relationships. The girls looked at 1 Corinthians 13 to see the true definition of love, so they know when they receive it. Along with the I AM statements, the girls went around the room and said one thing special about themselves. These attributes included beautiful, kind, smart, blessed, confident, strong, loving, Child of God and brave.

Domenick Epps, business owner and real estate agent, taught the girls how to be smart with their money. Even though the girls are young, Epps taught them the difference between rich and wealthy and asset versus liability.

“Many young people don’t learn about financial literacy or healthy relationships until they are older and learn the hard way,” said Nazareth. “I want to plant that seed as early as possible.”

Nazareth taught the girls from the spiritual side. She handed out compact mirrors and reminded them that God made everything they see reflected and He made them beautiful and unique. They also looked at verses in the Bible including Romans 8:28, Ephesians 1:11 and Jeremiah 29:11.

“I hope that your biggest takeaway from today is that you will leave knowing you are saved,” said Nazareth to the break out group of 10- to 12-year-olds. “You have to be saved in order to discover your purpose. That’s the first step.”

Keynote speaker Dr. Carletta N. Artis, who is an author, motivational speaker and professor and department chair at Regent University, and others gave messages that affirmed the day’s theme, reminding the girls of their worth and using their purpose and gifts to help others.

Nazareth is not sure if this event will be annual, but she knows that this is a God-given vision that she will fulfill however He leads.

The girls received a bag of school supplies as well as a goodie bag with self-care items, including a note pad, lip gloss, patterned mask and more. The girls left the seminar not only prepared for the school year to come but also prepared for whatever life may bring them.