CORNWALL, Ontario – When Lexie Jasiewicz was in Grade 6, life wasn’t fun.
She was bullied, had a low opinion of herself, and generally cared little about the world or her surroundings.
What a difference a few years can make.
Jasiewicz, 16, and now a Grade 11 student at Cornwall Collegiate and Vocational School, has turned her life around to the point that she is educating other Grade 6 girls about the power of positive self-image and confidence.
She was one of several leaders at Empower the Girl, a series of workshops and mentoring sessions Wednesday at Viscount Alexander School in Cornwall.
Jasiewicz said helping young girls is important, and she would have relished the opportunity at that age to learn more about self-confidence and body image.
“In Grade 6 I didn’t have any respect for myself,” she said. “I didn’t care how I looked for felt as a person.
“Then I took a look at myself one day, and said ‘What are you doing?'”
Jasiewicz has turned her life around. She’s now a part of the Eastern Ontario Training Board’s ‘Young Women Are Leaders’ program and is helping to mentor young women.
“I feel like I can help them with their self-confidence and their image of themselves,” she said.
About 100 Grade 6 girls from all over Cornwall congregated at Viscount Alexander School to hear positive messages of image and self-confidence.
Local stakeholders from a variety of local groups and organizations taught young women about nutrition, proper exercise and social interactions.
Resource teacher Jenn Carr said the message is strong, and important.
“It’s great to have that support from community agencies,” she said.
The first-year event could return next year, and feature a component for young boys as well.