Merrillville girls rock the recognition at local conference


Several Merrillville students were recognized at the recent All Girls Rock Conference and awards, a weekend event sponsored by Feed by Sheep Resource Center, Inc., a 501c3 not-for-profit organization. 

The second day awards celebration was designed to honor and recognize young girls between the ages of 9-18 throughout Northwest Indiana and the surrounding area who have excelled or shown outstanding achievement in various categories and who have demonstrated characteristics of a true role model to other girls.

Girls were nominated by schools, churches, individuals, and organizations throughout NWI to participate, and awards were presented in the categories of visual arts, literary arts, creative fine arts, academics, sports, community service and leadership. 

Merrillville students who were recognized included: all girlsrock

10th Grade
Kaitlyn Harris - Athletics/Sports

Eighth Grade
Deja Wilson - Creative Fine Arts Award
Jamya Crockett - Creative Fine Ar
Mya Reed - Literary Arts;

Seventh Grade
Jasmine McGee - Visual Arts Award
Kimora Newman - Academics Award

Sixth Grade
Trinity Thomas - Community Service Award

The first day of the two-day event was filled with workshops/topics based on the current environment and issues young girls face daily. Speakers were selected based on their knowledge and expertise of specific topics.

Two educators from Merrillville schools shared their knowledge with attendees and presented topics. 

MHS Assistant Principal Candace Lillie shared the presentation “Healthy Relationships/Setting Boundaries,” discussing the difference between healthy and unhealthy relationships and topics such as social media, peer pressure, character, self-confidence, decision-making, respect, bullying/gossiping, dating/violence, drugs/alcohol. 

Pierce Middle School Educator Miranda Barber also presented the workshop “Potential, Purpose, Poise,” discussing adolescents’ barriers to finding their identities, exploring ways to develop a strong, positive identity and stay focused while overcoming struggles and pitfalls. Topics of discussion included independence, body image, goals, manners, leaders, and effective communication. 

The All Girls Rock Conference is designed to provide Northwest Indiana girls, ages 9-18, with information allowing them to discover the specific skills, habits and approaches that are key to success and high achievement; to live powerfully their unique selves and to exhibit their talent always; to understand the qualities and characteristics of true leadership; and to realize that their community is stronger when they conduct themselves with poise, grace, dignity, compassion and courage.

Cheryl Smith, who is a member of the F.A.C.E.S. (Family and Community Engagement Specialist) team at the Merrillville Community School Corporation, is the founder and CEO of Feed My Sheep Resource Center, Inc., an organization whose primary mission is to be a vehicle that provides various initiatives to enhance social and self-sufficiency skills for the underserved population of all ages in the NWI Tri-City Area and the surrounding community.

Feed My Sheep Resource Center, Inc., sponsors various initiatives, such as the All Girls Rock Conference. 

Ms. Smith started Feed My Sheep in December 2010. Her passion is to continue to develop various initiatives that will impact the entire NWI community and to be a beacon of light and hope for the current community and generations to come who will also benefit from what Feed My Sheep Resource Center, Inc. has to offer.

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