Course helps girls to deal with life's ups and downs

Strong minds: The "Esteem Designz" program run by Melissa Honor (front), helps girls including (from left) Suzannah Zhao, Nicola Leech, Kayla Karagorgovski and Mayra Lobos-Munoz build self-esteem through creativity. Picture: Jane Dyson.
Strong minds: The "Esteem Designz" program run by Melissa Honor (front), helps girls including (from left) Suzannah Zhao, Nicola Leech, Kayla Karagorgovski and Mayra Lobos-Munoz build self-esteem through creativity. Picture: Jane Dyson.

A PROGRAM that strengthens students' resilience is building healthy futures at St George Christian School, Hurstville.

The "Creative Co-operative" initiative aims to help teenage girls develop positive self-esteem through fun and interactive activities.

Inspired by the Esteem Designz program, it explores identity and popular culture, and encourages students to tap in to their creativity.

Participants create personal "memory pockets" — cards that detail happy memories, which they can then refer to in times of need, or when they feel sad.

Year 11 students also volunteer as mentors in the workshops.

Program co-ordinator and the school's life skills educator, Melissa Honor, also works as a relationship expert who specialises in parenting, couples' communication and conflict resolution.

She said the program "empowered girls for life".

"It's about helping children manage their emotions," she said.

"It's voluntary, so the students who are there want to be there, which is wonderful."

A total of 22 year 7 students signed up this year.

"When I showed the girls what it was all about, it was a stampede," she said.

"I had to tell year 6 to wait until next year.

"The program expands creativity, which leads to a sense of accomplishment when students get things done in a group."