EL PASO, Texas – Originally scheduled to be the fourth Girl Empowerment Festival to be held in Texas and the second one in El Paso, the event faced many last-minute challenges due to the health concerns over the H1N1 virus that led to school closures and event cancellations throughout the Texas/Mexico border.
However, thanks to some very quick thinking by Mr. Jaime Rodriguez, last-minute arrangements by school officials, and the flexibility of the pressenters on the planning committee; a streamlined conference program was offered to over 150 girls on two middle school campuses: Canutillo Middle School and Desert View Middle School.
Our sincerest appreciation to Alica Rascon of Latinitas and Jaime Rodriguez of the Health & Human Services Commission, Office of Border Affairs, for spearheading the planning of this 2009 Girl Empowerment Festival in such a significant border city, and to all of the wonderful planning committee members and presenters who helped make it happen in a true spirit of collaboration despite the H1N1 virus scare.
Arte Sana is proud to have collaborated with the following local El Paso entities to offer empowering information to girls: El Paso County Attorney's Office, Girl Scouts Rio Grande Council, Health & Human Services, Commission-Office of Border Affairs, Latinitas, Rio Grande Safe Communities Coalition, Texas A&M University Prevention Resource Center, and the Thomason Hospital Women's Health Center.
The 2009 abbreviated program included:
R E S P E C T: What does it really mean to me? –Laura Zárate, Arte Sana Founding Executive Director
Teens, Club Drugs, and Alcohol –Susan Hernandez-Hurt, Texas A&M University– Prevention Resource Center and Adriana Cadena, Rio Grande Safe Communities Coalition
Media Savvy – Alicia Rascon, Latinitas
The Heart of Self-Esteem –Susan De La Paz, Women's Health Center
Promoting Girl Empowerment in Texas
While more areas of focus have been added throughout the years to promote the needs of those whom the United Nations Interagency Task Force on Adolescent Girls refers to as “invisible girls,” key aspects of the GEF model have been defined as necessary for promoting a holistic approach of empowerment through community-based collaborations.
Previous Girl Empowerment Festivals and Partners