By: Angel Hadnott, Production Assistant
Our Economy is slowly recuperating from an unprecedented financial crisis. The environment suffers from industry processes and emissions. Antibiotics used in the food we eat may be increasing our resistance to medication. We face tremendous global and local challenges. But there is hope, despite all these problems, there are many organizations and groups working to make the world a better place. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is working to clean our air. There are countless organizations that exist to help those struggling with debt and finance, and people are becoming more and more educated about the issues of living and eating healthy. One issue though that is often overlooked by many adults is the issue of low esteem and it’s impact on a child’s life.
Since most of us have had moments of insecurity and self doubt, low self esteem is an issue that most people can relate to. A moment where you had a idea or thought to take the initiative on a project, to take the lead, and you heard a voice that said “You’re not good enough,” or “ It won’t work out,”. Betty Hoeffner, a representative at HeyUgly.org, said these voices are nothing more than self bullying.
Organizations such as HeyUgly.Org and Always Sisters Forever Brothers promote self esteem in youth and adults, and work to bring awareness to issues like bullying, depression, and other ills that plague many Americans both young and old. Self bullying, much like low self esteem, is common among children. They tell themselves that their ugly, or not smart or pretty enough, and as a result, they try to deflect those negative feelings by putting others down.
HeyUgly.org teaches children to get in touch with their thoughts and feelings and recognize when self bullying is occurring. “We tell them what their feelings can teach them about themselves,” said Hoeffner, “We tell them to squish or cancel out the negative feelings, and replace them with positive ones.”
Always Sisters Forever Brothers, an annual conference created by Grammy award-winning Cece Winans, aims to uplift the spirit of young adults through motivational teachings and inspirational worship. The conference consists of 2 ½ days packed with informative sessions, praise and worship, skits, a fashion show. The idea is to educate, motivate and redirect the life choices of young men and women.
“Our young women and men need to know whose they are, and how valuable they are,” said Winans, who also hosts the conference, “They are princes and princesses because of who they belong to.”. Along with promoting self esteem, through Always Sisters Forever Brothers, Winans helps young adults realize their potential through her involvement with How Sweet the Sound .
How Sweet the Sound, Verizon’s nationwide gospel choir competition, allows young women and men across the country to showcase their ability, and explore their potential in a fun and positive environment. “The competition is healthy because its gospel music. And gospel music is good because its about hope,” said Winans, “The show is a lot of fun, and everyone should. It’s definitely a show that will get you jumping.”
Involvement in activities like choirs, theatre, band, or programs that promote self esteem like HeyUgly.org are important to ensure that children, and young men and women grow up with the knowledge and confidence that they can achieve their goals. Many problems in our country have been fixed because someone tried or attempted to find a solution. Someone had a dream. If the youth in America lose their ability to dream, or to have faith in their dreams, where will that leave our country?
Educators, parents, or children who would like to find out more information about the HeyUgly organization can at www.heyugly.org.
Those who would like more information on the Always Sisters Forever Brothers conference can get by visiting www.alwayssistersforeverbrothers.com.
Disclosure: The views shared in this articles may not be the view shared by HoustonPBS or Patricia Gras.