Pet Kare Clinic Veterinarian Kim Radway shows Steamboat Springs Middle School eighth grader Kyla Taylor an X-ray of a duck with a hook lodged inside of it during one of the Girls to Women workshops held Tuesday at The Steamboat Grand. About 130 girls attended the annual conference, which offers career-oriented workshops.

Photo by Matt Stensland

Pet Kare Clinic Veterinarian Kim Radway shows Steamboat Springs Middle School eighth grader Kyla Taylor an X-ray of a duck with a hook lodged inside of it during one of the Girls to Women workshops held Tuesday at The Steamboat Grand. About 130 girls attended the annual conference, which offers career-oriented workshops.

Girls to Women event offers career advice, healthy habits



Steamboat Springs Fire Rescue firefighters Erika Wright, left, and Jeanne Power answer questions during the Girls to Women conference Tuesday at The Steamboat Grand.


Certified veterinary technician Deanna Williams helps Steamboat Springs Middle School eighth grader Kayla Voeltzel take a pulse on Tia, Williams' dog, during Tuesday's Girls to Women conference at The Steamboat Grand.

— In two career-oriented workshops Tuesday morning, eighth-grade student Arielle Gold learned to keep her options and her mind open.

The annual Girls to Women workshops for eighth-grade girls outlined the steps toward a career choice for Gold and other participants. Gold said she learned to “go into it with an open mind, and don’t be set on something for your future — see how it feels and if you actually want to do it because you can always change your mind.”

Instilling that attitude is one of the goals of Girls to Women, which offers career and lifestyle seminars to girls getting ready to go into high school, event chairwoman Melissa Calhoon said.

“I think our main goal for this is to just open their eyes to different options open to them for whatever they decide to do after high school. … We would like to expose them to as many options as possible,” Calhoon said.

Eighth-grade girls from schools in Steamboat Springs, Hayden, South Routt County, North Routt County, Rangely and North Park participated in the annual event at The Steamboat Grand. Now in its 12th year, the Girls to Women conference involved about 130 students, Calhoon said. Local nonprofit New Frontiers for Girls and Women presents the event.

Participants chose two of 19 career-focused sessions to attend in the morning and one of 10 lifestyle sessions to attend in the afternoon. Career topics included agriculture, food service, law, photography, writing, spa services, human resources and emergency services. Lifestyle topics included relationships, self-defense, communication, yoga and healthy habits. To choose topics, event organizers looked at a survey conducted a few years ago and took suggestions from students at the 2009 event, Calhoon said.

Hailee Russell, a student at Rangely Middle School, said she learned how to take the first steps to pursue a writing career in her first workshop of the day. Shya Redna, of North Park Middle School, said she learned the road to becoming a doctor is a long one. Ellie Bender, of Steamboat Springs Middle School, said her morning sessions taught her how to be an individual.

Sonja Macys, director of Yampatika, opened the day with a keynote speech. After showing a few slides of herself as an eighth-grader, Macys covered her path from school to Mexico to Steamboat Springs. In her speech, Macys tried to encourage Girls to Women participants to keep learning, to experience life as it happens and to participate in their communities.

Before ending the day with lifestyle workshops, students filled out a theoretical monthly budget in an exercise called “Reality Bytes.” Taking into account student loans, rent, utilities, car payments, clothing, transportation, health care and other expenses, students got an idea of how much they would need to earn in a given month to cover it all.

— To reach Margaret Hair, call 871-4204 or e-mail


Chris Elliott 7 years ago

and while the girls were actually learning something that may help them with their futures, the boys were playing dodgeball and had time on the highschool field. I am sorry, but something is very wrong with this picture! Something needs to be done to promote education at the middle school! Do you know that a good portion of the eighth grade students have a "student aide" period for a class. They make copies and use free time as an extra study hall, They all already have one study period. What the heck are they being taught? Now they want to take two sixth grade teachers, who are not G/t certified and do a combined G/T class with 6th, 7th and 8th graders? How does this work when they have supposedly cut the G/t staff by 2 people? It sounds to me like some crazy stuff is happening.


stillinsteamboat 7 years ago

I'm afraid the middle school has sunk to a new. Don't you know the most important part of education in Steamboat is how many goals, touchdowns, gold medals you score. I am not bashing the teachers, it's not their fault, it's the administration.


bandmama 7 years ago

As a parent of a G.T. kid, I found it odd that my kid has been flunking a class since first quarter. Lack of concern on homework. (how many hours of school and how many hours of homework each night? when I leave work, I dont want to pour over the same hash I have spent the day, hashing) Not a class required for graduation,I have allowed him to let that grade fall in the effort to keep other grades at an acceptable level. When budget cuts were made PUBLIC,the G.T. teacher called me to tell me my kid was failing in BLANK class,We had to have an "intervention" RIGHT NOW, TODAY! Didn't matter that I had had 2 conferences with the teacher of the class and counselor since first quarter and we all agreed what that our course of action was best for my kid The G.T. teacher failed to show....twice. No notice, no call,nothing,this was in the middle of 3rd quarter, I got the call at work, as an "emergency". What parent doesn't FREAK when told that we need to talk about our child NOW and hear the word "intervention" I was NOT pleased to FINALLY find out that the call was concerning a class that I already knew he was doing poorly in. Up till the grade he is in now, SSSD has ROCKED! The last 2 years in the school he is enrolled is completely lost as far as acceptable communication. I recently found out that my son skipped nearly two weeks in the class he was failing (again, failure on my part & my kids and yes the issue was addressed.SERIOUSLY at home, I expect my kid to take responsibility for his short comings) Not ONE school official notified me that the kid was not attending class. While he did spend some of that time at the library, school and public he could have been anywhere. I am not ignorant of the "teenage species". I was & still FURIOUS that I was never notified of the skipping and even more concerned that the person who is paid to be advocate for my kid completely dropped the ball on his "progress" It never became an issue until the JOB was. Many districts are closing schools. We have a communty where MOST teachers know MOST parents. If it had not been for a HI and HELLO at Safeway, I NEVER would have known that my kid skipped. Why didn't I get a phone call or an email? Both records are on file and I never seem to miss an invitaion to contribute to a PIC meeting..... NOW, on the other hand SSSD has some FANTASTC teachers, who have gone above and beyond the job not only for my young-un but others as well. The tied hands are not acceptable to these educators and I thank each and every one who has helped to guide my kid AND us in what may be best for my kids future. The failure is the result of the admistration who doesn't seem to understand that it is THIER job, (paid for by our tax dollars) to DO the job they applied for. I have NO complaints to the individual teachers, I can say nothing but thanks for continuing to do an awesome job and caring about the career they chose as well as they kids they care so much about.


bandmama 7 years ago

And I, at the the last conference, saw the note requesting a meeting with the 'detention" officer placed ON his desk, two weeks ago with my own ittle eyes as I wanted to discuss this issue. I still have not heard from him. Nothing. I expected my kid to be punished for his poor judgement AT the school, detention, something besides his punishments at home to let him know that this behavior is NOT acceptable. My kids take on it? "they dont care mom, it isn't THAT big of a deal to them" Now, is that what any parent wants thier kid to take home? And yes again we addressed it at home but why not at school also?


Sara Gleason 7 years ago

I think this is obvious...the public school system has been failing taxpayers and kids alike for quite a long time. Vote for candidates who support educational choices, like vouchers. Let's get someone in there who is more concerned with the kids than their own union and paycheck. Do our teachers do a lot? Yes. Do they work far fewer hours than the average worker? Yes. Do they have better benefits than the average worker? Yes. Do they get paid more that the average entry-level worker in our community? Yes. I do not want to discourage anyone wanting to educate the future generation, but I earn about $6000 dollars less per year than a starting teacher in Colorado (and RE-2 is much higher due to cost of living), and I have a 40 hour/week job where sometimes I need to go in on the weekends and I don't get three and a half months off in the summer. And yet they are teaching your kid nothing but crap, and not communicating with parents. Government at work people. Have fun with your hope and change...


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