Girls still in need of image enhancement

Monday’s Minot Daily News story on the Bio Girls program shared about an important program and issue – although one could also wish that the issue was no longer something that needs addressing.

Sadly, it does.

“BIO Girls is an organization that works toward helping young girls through a life-skills curriculum, small-group mentoring and physical activity in a positive and inclusive environment to improve self-esteem,” wrote staff writer Shyanne Belzer after discussions with local organizers and participants.

BIO Girls started in Fargo in 2013. The program later moved to Minot in 2018 as it expanded all across the Midwest. The organization is locally run by two site directors: Kristy Hokenson and Lindsay Ries.

In their first year, Minot’s BIO Girls had 27 girls go through their program with an estimated 35 for this year’s program. BIO Girls as a whole has impacted 2,700 girls in the seven years it has been running its programs.

Given the number of participants to date, the program must be having a positive effect.

The curriculum works to give girls a self-confidence “toolbox” that they can use from adolescence through adulthood.

It is a mild shame that programs like this are needed. The ideal is that girls and boys are raised in ways that might not be the same, but that result in both acquiring the same degree of self-respect and self-esteem.

There are plenty of reasons why this isn’t always the case. There are also numerous responsible influences and those may vary from one individual to another. “Society” is the most easy and obvious culprit, but there are also influences from families, peers, the media, even from educators themselves. The result is after decades of awareness to try to address it, programs such as BIO Girls remain vitally necessary.

Thanks to BIO Girls, their program and commitment. Hopefully, the overall goal will be reached and programs like this won’t be called for anymore.

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