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January 18, 2013

Foundation teaches youth to sparkle

CHICKASHA — It's hard to know the ins and outs of being a successful, happy young lady in today's fast changing society. The Chickasha Public School Foundation is hosting it's annual mentoring luncheon event to help all CPS 5th grade girls get a little closer to figuring out how to become just that.

The "Diamonds in the Rough" event is scheduled for 10:30 a.m., Tuesday Feb. 12 in the USAO Ballroom. Powerful women in Chickasha's community volunteer their time to give their advice and promote positive conversation with the young girls.

"My predecessor Lou Christian came up with the idea," Jessica Burrous, Executive Director for the CPS Foundation said.

According to Burrous, a very high number of Chickasha students come from low-income households and don't get to experience anything like what this event offers, such as etiquette training.

Speaking at the luncheon will be Carey Sue Vega, an award winning etiquette expert and a director for the Oklahoma City Metropolitan Chapters of the National League of Junior Cotillions and The International League of Corporate Cotillions. In previous years Vega has spoken on topics such as first impressions, handshakes, eye contact and table etiquette.

The mentors that will be guide the luncheon will engage conversation such as career plans, goals and answer any questions the young girls may have for them.

"Usually the mentors are mid-career women," Burrous said. "A lot of board members have done it for the last two years and if they can't attend they will suggest other women in the community to contact."

Fifth grade is an awkward age for young girls, Burrous explained. There are so many changes going on in their lives and they are preparing themselves to make the change from elementary school to middle school.

"Research has shown that this is a pivotal time in a girl's life," Burrous said.

After Feb. 12, the mentors jobs aren't done. The foundation asks mentors to write follow up cards to show the young girls additional encouragement. If the mentors are not already foundation members, they are asked to pay the minimum fee of $25.

The Foundation is also seeking sponsorship from business and individuals in the community. If you are interested in becoming a mentor or sponsoring this event contact Jessica Burrous at 405-222-6506 ext. 1009 or e-mail at jburrous@chickasha.k12.ok.us.

"We need to start early to make sure girls know they are capable of reaching great heights. It starts in the youngest years of their schooling with words of encouragement and aspiration," Burrous said.

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