By: Lorrie Ward | Category: Consumer News | Issue: June 2012
Susan Jensen, BLAST project director with Rogers County Volunteers for Youth, invites young ladies to the iExpo.
Kids are growing up fast these days – some might say “too fast!” With Hollywood and other media pressure urging young girls in particular to look and act “sexy,” the lines for safe and age-appropriate relationships between young men and women have become increasingly blurred. In a society of free speech, we cannot necessarily stop this media blitz, but we can try to teach our young ladies how to make wise decisions in the midst of all the contradictory messages being sent their way.
This is the goal of Rogers County Volunteers for Youth and the Tulsa Shock this year, as they are joining forces to present iExpo for area girls, ages 12 to 20, on Friday, June 15 from 1 p.m. to 10 p.m. at the BOK Center in Tulsa. Transportation to and from the BOK Center will be provided by Rogers County Volunteers for Youth. A $10 registration fee includes a wealth of activity, including a Tulsa Shock game and a day of fun and learning for all girls who attend.
Susan Jensen, BLAST project director for Rogers County Volunteers for Youth, is especially excited about this year’s event. “For the past three years we’ve held morning camps for girls in the summer,” she relates. “But this year, we felt we needed to do something bigger for these girls – and then the Shock called and asked if they could partner with us. We are so thrilled!”
The day will focus on helping girls understand their rights and responsibilities in a relationship. “We want to help girls learn not to be gullible and that it’s okay to say no,” says Susan. Representatives from Safenet Services and Domestic Violence of Tulsa will be present to answer anonymous questions from the girls during the first class session, followed by a shopping period at vendors invited specifically for the event – Mary Kay, Cato, DVIS, Safenet, Orange Owl, Body by VI, Scentsy, Silpada, and Designs by Jewelee.
After another class in which two Claremore police officers teach self defense tips, the girls will be allowed to shop again. “We’ve added the shopping this year because we want to help the girls learn how to look cool and still be modest,” says Susan. “We believe that part of protecting yourself is in how you dress.”
The final teaching session will be led by Alison Short from Drug Free, who will speak about how to be aware at a party by watching your drink and being cognizant of some other dangers in such a situation. The Shock Game will cap off the day’s festivities, leaving the girls with a positive view of strong and successful female role models in action.
There will be no walk-ins allowed on the day of the event because parents need to sign the online permission slip, so Susan encourages everyone who is interested to go to www.wnba.com/shock/tickets/iexpo_registration_form_2012.html. “Our girls are part of our future,” says Susan. “We’ve got to help them get strong and be smart – we hope this event will help accomplish that.”