Seminar addresses girls' issues

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— Eighth-grade girls in Steamboat Springs will get the opportunity to glimpse what is ahead of them at the "Girls to Women, Women to Girls" seminar Tuesday at the Steamboat Grand.

The seminar is designed to help girls think about their future life choices and to surround them with a supportive group of women from the community who can offer insight and ideas.

"Eighth grade is a critical time for girls," said Gail Kellogg, coordinator for the event. "As they look at high school, they are faced with choices, personal and educational, that may well define their paths in life. The hope is that through personal interaction with local women successful in a wide variety of careers and endeavors, the girls will develop a notion of what steps are needed to make their dreams a reality."

More than 40 Routt County women, representing a variety of careers and experiences, will share their academic and real-life experiences. The event will help girls see how women can get involved in all aspects of a community, even in professions or activities that are currently male dominated.

Small-group workshops and activities that highlight careers, resources and self-development will give girls the option to explore areas they want to know more about.

The dialogue between women will help establish self-esteem and life enrichment, Kellogg said.

An advisory committee of eighth-grade girls developed the theme for the event, "Great Ladies in 2002, Expanding Reality."

Rosemary Wahtola Trommer, an award-winning poet and speaker, will be a featured speaker at the event.

Trommer is known for her ability to blend gratitude, positive attitude, creative thinking and inner strength in all aspects of her life.

Identifying a starting point for girls to start thinking about their future is key to realizing their long-term goals, Kellogg said.

When the eighth-graders leave the middle school and begin high school, they will be faced with a new set of social and academic issues.

Kellogg said Girls to Women allows girls to prepare for that transition.

She said the most important issue is for girls to realize the decisions they make now can have a great effect on what they want to do later.

Women's Foundation of Colorado, sponsor for the event, is dedicated to increasing career opportunities for girls through community education and leadership, Kellogg said.

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