Fever Choose Respect And Build Self-Esteem

June 27, 2007
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    Tully Bevilaqua and Kasha Terry talked with young girls about goals and self-esteem.
    On Wednesday, June 27, the Indiana Fever held its annual Self-Esteem Seminar at Conseco Fieldhouse. The Fever partnered with Indianapolis’ Julian Center and the Choose Respect representatives from INCASA (Indiana Coalition Against Sexual Assault) to lead pre-teen and teenage girls through a day of group exercises. These exercises promoted healthy relationships and making the right choices in life, as well as the importance of having good self-esteem.

    The Julian Center is a unique, nonprofit agency providing counseling, safe shelter and education for women and children who are survivors of domestic violence and abuse. Through outreach and consultation, it also seeks to educate the community about the issue of domestic violence and its impact on all our lives. The programs and services provided by the Julian Center are designed to contribute to a significant reduction in the incidence of violence against women and their children, to support survivors in healing, and to help break the intergenerational cycle of abuse.

    Julian Center Director of Outreach Education Cynthia Knabe led a discussion on the five types of abuse. She discussed several ways to identify abuse, as well as preventative measures to take. Knabe used several real life examples to demonstrate the prevalence of abuse in our society.

    Along with Knabe’s presentation, Choose Respect representatives Angie Turk and Emily Lynch also led the group of girls through self-esteem, respect and decision-making activities.

    Choose Respect is an initiative to help form healthy relationships to prevent dating abuse before it starts. This national effort is designed to motivate adolescents to challenge harmful beliefs about dating abuse and take steps to form respectful relationships.

    Turk and Lynch involved the girls in their presentation by various activities. One activity involved the girls making “All about ME” brochures which focused on their positive traits, likes and dislikes. The girls also got a chance to write compliments about one another on the back of each respective pamphlet, and they discussed how it made them feel. The last exercise was a game of Choose Respect musical chairs. Each person that got eliminated was not called a loser, but was rewarded with a piece of candy as they read aloud a real-life scenario they might come across and chose the way they would react from three or four examples.

    Following presentations by the Julian Center and Choose Respect, Indiana Fever players Tully Bevilaqua, Ebony Hoffman and Kasha Terry joined the group for a panel discussion on the day’s topics. The players shared their thoughts and outlooks on several life subjects.

    “If you have a goal and positive outlook on life, no one can stop you,” Terry said. “Self-esteem is the best way to get that goal.”

    In response to a question regarding making good choices, Ebony Hoffman said, “The decisions you make will determine what type of person you will be. A decision you make now can affect you way down the line, so you have to be smart.”

    Ebony was assertive in her message to the girls on getting out and doing something positive with their lives.

    “You don’t have to be an athlete to make it to college and do things with your life, but you have to put an effort into something,” she said. “You can earn scholarships for college by doing all different kinds of activities other than sports.”

    Tully pressed the students to never stop striving to reach their dreams and goals.

    “You still learn,” she said. “Everyday you learn something new. Dreams and goals combine together.”

    Tully told the group that she was living out her dream as a professional athlete, but still makes new goals to achieve, such as winning a championship this season with the Fever.

    The Self-Esteem Seminar concluded with several questions from the group for the players regarding their lives and basketball. The girls were able to learn a great deal about relationships, decision-making and achieving their goals.