LAWTON, OK (KSWO) -A local group is inspiring and motivating young women in our community to teach them that "Girls Rock."
"Black Girls Rock" is a group created by contestants who participated in the Miss Black Cameron University pageant in 2012 that wanted to give back.It is open to all ethnicities of girls between the ages of 5- 17 years old. The workshop is split up into three subjects, problems 101, queens and bullying. College students or teachers have volunteered their time to help make sure these young women are on the right road to becoming leaders in our community.
Tanyia Tate says she was a little nervous even though it's her second year to attend. She says she talked about her goals in school and how to respect her teachers. She says it also feels good to make new friends with girls that don't leave you out.
"There's other girls my age, and younger than me and older than me that I could like play with and stuff," said Tate. "Learn about them, they learn about me, so it's really great to have some more friends."
Tate says today she learned how to build one another up instead of tearing other girls down. She says whether it's on the internet, physical or emotional bullying it's all wrong.
"If you bully, you're hurting someone else and not how your parents want you to be, so you should be how your parents want you to be, but a little yourself," said Tate.
Ciera James, the organizer and teacher of Black Girls Rock says this event was started to teaching the girls how to be polite and have manners. She also hopes the children can walk away with a new perspective on why school and education is so important.
"When they go to school, maybe Monday, maybe they might have a change in attitude or excited about learning instead of saying why am I here," said James."I don't want to be here. The teacher hates me. No. Sometimes I understand because teachers have just as much stress as parents do with children."
James says she's had girls who participated in the program, grow up and come back to say...
"Hey what you said to me really saved my life," said James."I've had suicidal kids actually come and you would have never known they were suicidal or anything. And then their parents, they came home and they've been like this for 3 months, their whole attitude has changed. If I could touch one person at a time, I'll feel better within myself."
James says seeing the girls leave happier and confident in who they are makes this worth while.
"Why not open the doors to have someone come in and learn and be able to better themselves for the future," said James.
For more information about next years event and how to register, contact Ciera James at Friendship Baptist Church.