On a cold January night in New York, more than a dozen girls came together in a cell phone-free zone to talk about something important: each other. Paul Savramis, Rising Stars Youth Foundation founder, shares info on the Beautiful Me workshop in the following brief Q&A.
Q: What is Beautiful Me?
Paul Savramis: Beautiful Me is a self-esteem workshop we put on regularly for the girls in our youth programs. Essentially, it is a night that allows our girls’ teams to interact with each other and learn to appreciate their teammates’ positive qualities beyond the free throw.
Q: How does it work?
Paul Savramis: The girls spend two hours without phones, without social media, and without the distractions of the outside world. Our talk with the girls initiates exercises that help them open up to each other, something that more and more students find difficult these days. They are given the opportunity to look inward for their inner beauty and help their peers find theirs as well.
Q: Why is this so important to you?
Paul Savramis: If you’ve ever seen a billboard or turned on the television, you’ve witnessed the impossible standards that today’s young women are pressured to live up to. Role models are no longer there to demonstrate the power of positivity but instead focus on ways to perfect makeup and style, something which many of the girls in our programs cannot afford, even if they wanted to. This air of false affluence and fictitious physical perfection drives many adolescents inward, which is the worst place for a girl who is still developing her sense of self in relation to the world.
Q: Was the evening a success?
Paul Savramis: Judging from the feedback we’ve received from the students and parents alike, I would say yes! We hope our girls continue to move in a direction of being able to appreciate themselves and their peers both on and off the court.