Shaping Her Esteem (SHE) is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting the health and well-being of young women. ‘I wanted to create an environment where girls could develop self-esteem and the confidence to pursue their goals,’ says Laura Sanhueza-Miller (pictured below), who founded SHE in 2012 to help address the growing need for physical fitness programs for girls.
The organization’s core program is StronGirls, a weekly, hour-long fitness class where girls participate in various individual and group exercises, followed by an open discussion. ‘Here, they can talk about what empowered them that week, and what physical activity’like walking the dog or dancing with friends’made them feel really good.’
Sanhueza-Miller has received positive feedback from StronGirls participants, who feel a greater sense of confidence and are encouraged to try out for school sports and enroll in community programs outside school. Several StronGirls classes are scheduled this fall in Toronto, and there are plans to expand the program to other cities.
There’s also an online component to SHE that includes nutrition tips and easy-to-make recipes, as well as a motivational section that features videos and articles promoting physical activity.
Shaping Her Esteem is hosting a community event called SHE Mob in Toronto’s Yonge-Dundas Square this Sunday, September 8. The event kicks off at 2:30 and is open to the public. There will be Zumba classes, motivational talks, raffle prizes, a boot camp session and a yoga class (mats will be available.)
Go to shapingheresteem.com for more information.
‘Joana Lourenço, associate editor