Positive peer-pressure is goal of Sister-to-Sister

Peer-pressure is not always a bad thing.

The Sister-to Sister Summit brought 110 girls in grades 7 through 12 together for peer-led encouragement and empowerment.

The 10th annual event was held on Nov. 4 at the Alumni Gym at Maryville College. The diverse group of girls represented 12 schools in all three districts of Blount County.

The American Association of University Women (AAUW), the Women’s Equity Foundation and the Center for Strong Communities at Maryville College sponsored the summit.

Vandy Kemp, dean of students at Maryville College, said “We are thrilled with the turn out.” She said this year’s group was the largest in the event’s ten year history.

Approximately 30 adult volunteers were involved, but Kemp said it is always peer mentoring that makes the event so effective.

High school girls facilitated discussions on a variety of topics, including dating, body image and self esteem. Girls also created a community action plan so their message can be shared throughout the community. The young women also participated in activities like yoga, kickboxing, art and outdoor adventure activities.

Kemp said organizers are unsure if they will hold the event next year. “It’s been so successful, I certainly hope so.”

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