“Art is effective because it encourages us to get out of a linear way of processing. Art breaks up, shakes, and shifts the way we interact with thoughts, beliefs, challenges, emotions, ourselves, the world.” – Michaela Herr
Reflecting back to 2020, we all had such a challenging and difficult year. Girls Spark a new non-profit focused on helping teen girls come together to learn, listen, collaborate and overcome the social issues we face, was on the brink of our 2nd annual teen girl conference when the Covid-19 pandemic took us all by storm! We had almost 100 girls ready and signed up for the conference that was going to be held at West Chester University in Mid-April of 2020. Quickly we had to pivot and worked hard to launch our online programming for teen girls with our presenters we had lined up for the in-person teen girl conference that was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
2020 was a year of change for Girls Spark. Thanks to our generous sponsors we were able to reprogram our website and conduct 1-hour free virtual online programs for teen girls of all socioeconomic backgrounds covering a variety of topics that the girls themselves voted for and wanted. Sessions, now called Spark Events covered topics from; Building Self-Confidence, Anti-Bullying, Teen Suicide Awareness, Health and Nutrition, Emotional intelligence, and other Stress and Anxiety reducing teen girl workshops. Although we had so many amazing workshops, the 1 workshop that was rated the highest among the teen girls was the Art Therapy session, provided by Michaela Herr for Girls Spark in the middle of the summer.
Lots of teen girls were bummed out that this summer would be spent inside, I know I was certainly disappointed about it too. Michaela’s “Oh the places you’ll go after Covid-19” drawing “Art Therapy” activity was therapeutic in a way I didn’t think was possible. Through art, and most importantly without judgment, we made and shared about what we drew in response to her prompt; “Where do you want to go/do/eat when COVID-19 is over?” Just sitting down and taking the time to dream, be calm, and think about things in a positive light, rather than in all the negativity that was surrounding us was exactly what we needed at that time. Michaela’s guidance really helped all of us in the workshop to really give ourselves the much needed “Me Time.” So thank you Michaela, from all of us at Girls Spark for giving us some much needed hope and positivity. With that being said we are now taking a similar “Art Therapy Program” to the schools in the Philadelphia, Delaware and Tri-County area for the Girls in that particular school to come together virtually, right now, but hopefully in person in the fall to help them as a free resource help their re-duce stress and anxiety and give them hope for a better tomorrow.
By: Jessica K, 18
To learn more about Girls Spark and participate in one of our Free on-line monthly events. Please visit our website at www.GirlsSpark.com and register now, you can register for 1 or more event at one time and mark your schedule. If you are a teen girl ages 13-19 these short 1 hour monthly events are definitely worth your time, you won’t be disappointment! All of our program presenters are vetted by our group of Teen Girls just like yourself. For more information on Michaela you can visit her website at https://www.mindfullyrootedarttherapy.com/