On April 28th I had the honor of volunteering at G Day inaugural event as a circle leader/mentor, and my daughter had the honor of attending. Both of us couldn’t sleep the night prior in anticipation of the event. We had no idea what to expect. My daughter was excited that attending G Day enabled her to miss a day of school. Little did she know, that G Day would be a day full of learning, but not like her typical academic school day.
Jada and I didn’t know anyone when we arrived at G Day. We arrived a bit early and helped in any way that we could to do any last-minute set-up. Founder of G Day Madeleine Shaw, made an announcement before the arrival of 250 girls, thanking all of her supporters and volunteers and wished us all a great day filled with fun, inspiration, and learning.
I was in awe when Madeleine spoke. I looked at her and saw a smart, inspiring woman with a vision, and a few moments after she shared her gratitude, the girls arrived and Madeline’s vision became a reality!
The day was well thought out with a line- up of inspirational guest speakers, snack breaks, body breaks, yoga and even dancing.
I think what really broke the ice for the girls who were sitting in a room filled with other girls (that were pretty much strangers), was a game that guest speaker Saleema Noon initiated.
Saleema was the first guest speaker. She shared her story from when she was a pre-adolescent girl with insecurities, who was bullied. She gathered the girls in a very large circle and started a game. If one of the questions she asked was true to you, you were to take a step into the middle of the circle. She called it a circle of trust, meaning their would be no judgment.
She started off with some funny questions that some of us could relate to such as, “have you ever tripped and kept walking like nothing happened?”
These types of questions made the girls laugh and comfortable moving into the middle of the circle. Once Saleema felt that the girls were becoming more comfortable she asked some deeper questions such as, “have you ever felt like no one understands you?”
I watched my daughter bravely take steps into the circle and as I watched her feet walk into the circle, my feet were stepping simultaneously, along with many other girls.
When Saleema asked the question: ” have you ever felt alone?” The entire room stepped into the circle.
Tears filled my eyes.
We looked at one another and Saleema said, “isn’t it crazy how we have all felt alone, but we are never actually alone?”
This is the moment for me where Madeleine’s vision of sisterhood was deeply felt.
A room of 250 girls, plus adults, who have all at one point felt alone, suddenly glancing around didn’t feel so alone!
Another guest at G Day that brought a different kind of energy to the room was Theresa Tree Walsh. She had an amazing sense of humor and helped the girls feel it is actually cool to just be yourself, let loose and have fun!
She had the entire room up and moving, shaking and grooving!
She even had the entire room singing`Disney`s Frozen movie song, “Let it go” at the top of our lungs!
As we twirled, laughed and sang our hearts out, the entire room had a euphoric aura. I could feel the smiles turn a little upside down with disappointment when it ended.
When you’re having fun, time flies, but…we were on a schedule!
Each and every guest speaker had their own inspirational message and story to share.
The speakers were leaders, social entrepreneurs, and change-makers.
While each guest took a different approach and used a unique method to engage the pre-adolescent girls, the underlying message from all was this:
You are beautiful.
You are unique.
You are not alone.
You can make a difference.
You can be silly.
You shouldn’t be ashamed to speak your truth.
Be yourself and stand up for yourself.
You are more than just a body.
You are capable.
You are a part of something bigger than yourself.
We should all remember that as unique as we are, alone we can do so little, and together we can do so much.
We are a sisterhood.
This message was evident when Madeleine thanked everyone at the end of the day. The tremendous amount of support she received from her sisters, who aren’t even blood, helped make her dream a realit!.
Madeleine Shaw exemplifies a girl who had a dream, a woman who had a vision and a vision turned into reality.
Jada and I both made some connections and our drive home was spent discussing the fun we had, what we learned from the speakers and the day as a whole.
We both had the biggest smiles on our faces, while we reminisced about our day.
Jada skipped the books for a day of self-discovery. I give her an A+ for having such an open mind. She actually connected with one of the guest speakers via Twitter and asked her if she would speak at her school to the grade four and five girls. She approached the school counselor and the counselor thought it was a great idea!
Jada was definitely inspired by the leaders at G Day and wanted to share some of the inspiration with her peers.
She also came home telling her dad that a penis has feelings too😂( thanks to guest speaker, Marnie Goldberg.) Jada said it very casually at the dinner. My husbands face, was a tad surprised! LOL
Would I send Jada to G Day again?
Will I send all of my daughters to a G Day event?
Do I want to be a part of another G Day?
Absolutely!!!! (as much as a penis has feelings!)😂
You can get more information on Gday for girls at gdayforgirls.com