Nicole Stetz is launching a Langley branch of Sole Girls to help tweens build self-esteem and confidence. Miranda Gathercole Langley Times

Sole Girls empowerment program expands to Langley

Nine-week sessions offered to girls ages 8-12 to build self-esteem and confidence

It’s the kind of program Nicole Stetz wishes she had when she was a tween.

Integrating friendship, mentorship, personal development and exercise into a two hour session each week, Sole Girls helps young girls ages 8 to 12 navigate through their tween years by building self-esteem and confidence.

“It has this special place in my heart because it’s a safe space where girls can come and be uniquely them,” said Stetz, a Walnut Grove native, who is partnering with the Township to launch the nine-week program in Langley next week.

“It’s an opportunity to make new friends, meet new people and talk about things going on in their lives. Tweenhood is such a hard time, and it’s when they are figuring out who they are. It’s a time that is also so heavily influenced outside by forces. The girls can come to this place and know that who they are is perfect, it’s great, it’s who they need to be.”

Sole Girls — which stands for support, open-minded, love and enthusiasm — was founded in North Vancouver five years ago by Ashley Wiles, a life coach and Ironman competitor, who was inspired to create the program by the Amanda Todd YouTube video about suicide.

READ MORE: Legacy of Amanda Todd lives on through B.C. foundation

After much success in the Vancouver area, Sole Girls is expanding to the Fraser Valley for the first time. Stetz is leading nine-week sessions at Richard Bulpitt Elementary on Saturday mornings from 9 to 11 a.m. (beginning Jan. 13) and Wednesday nights from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. (beginning Jan. 17).

There will also be a free class offered on Wednesday, Jan. 10 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. as part of the Township’s “try it free week.”

“My personal mission in life is to spread more love in this world, and empowering children, specifically, to spread that love. So that is really why I wanted to get into it, and I just love what Sole Girls stood for,” Stetz said.

“I want to give girls the tools that I learned at an older age so they can be better equipped to face life’s challenges and navigate that crazy (tween) age. If they have that strong foundation, they are better able to stick to the values of who they are and make smarter choices that will make them happy and strong females.”

The classes are split 50/50 between indoor and outdoor activities. In the first half, the girls discuss topics such as friendship, health, nutrition, goal setting and anxiety, before heading outdoors to explore nature and exercise. They also practise long distance running, at the end of the nine weeks, participate in a 5 km fun run.

“For me, personally, running is one thing that’s really so beneficial for my mental health,” Stetz said.

“And being outdoors — that grounding, natural setting — it’s inspiring, it’s energizing. Being in that environment is also so great for your mental health. It’s definitely a tool that I have used for the last two years.”

Each nine-week program costs $279 and is open to girls from all communities in the Lower Mainland. To register, visit recexpress.tol.ca and type in keyword “sole girls.”

Stetz also offers workshops, day camps, and weekly sessions to other community groups and schools. Those interested can email solegirlslangley@hotmail.com.

For more on Sole Girls, visit www.solegirls.org.



miranda@langleytimes.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Orange crush: Vancouver Giants blanked by Portland Winterhawks

Saturday’s 2-0 setback marks first regulation loss for G-Men in 10 games

Proposal to ban pot dispensaries in White Rock would affect Langley businessman

Randy Caine and partners hope to open dispensaries once laws are changed

VIDEO: Remember the Voyageurs at Fort Langley

Two-day historical festival underway

WIND WARNING: Metro Vancouver expecting 100 km/h gusts Saturday night

Environment Canada issues warns of possibly dangerous conditions

Fraser Health asking taxpayers for millions more in health care capital funding

Health authority wants Fraser Valley taxpayers to triple annual contribution to $5.75 million

Mom delivers plastic mats to Langley’s homeless

Jenifer Kosman fashions sleeping mats from plastic grocery bags

VIDEO: Thousands join women’s march events across B.C.

Today marks one year since the first Women’s March on Washington

Two Canadians, two Americans abducted in Nigeria are freed

Kidnapping for ransom is common in Nigeria, especially on the Kaduna to Abuja highway

Are you ready for some wrestling? WWE’s ‘Raw’ marks 25 years

WWE flagship show is set to mark its 25th anniversary on Monday

B.C. woman who forged husband’s will gets house arrest

Princeton Judge says Odelle Simmons did not benefit from her crime

Snow warning in effect for the Coquihalla

A snowfall warning is in effect from Hope to Merritt as slush and snow is expected on highways this weekend

Vancouver hoping free public Wi-Fi expansion will drive tourism dollars

Mayor Gregor Robertson says expansion bolsters its “leading Smart City” status

Women’s movement has come a long way since march on Washington: Activists

Vancouver one of several cities hosting event on anniversary of historic Women’s March on Washington

Liberals’ 2-year infrastructure plan set to take 5: documents

Government says 793 projects totalling $1.8 billion in federal funds have been granted extensions

Most Read