(This is a reprint from my Sacramento Cyber Safety Examiner article on Examiner.com).
Yesterday, the Soroptimist International of Lincoln, a community service club, held a Teen Esteem event, which featured motivational speaker, Jenny Williamson, CEO of Courage Worldwide, a Sacramento region non-profit dedicated to restoring the lives of girls rescued from sex trafficking. “First figure out who you are, not what to do. Once you figure out who you are, then your heart will lead you,” she said. “Do what your heart calls you to do.”
This advice to teen girls was hard won. Williamson explained that her dream as a child was to grow up to be a mom of girls, and she was bold about expressing her passion and just being herself. One day when she was about 10 years old, an adult made a snarky remark about her passion and accused her of something inappropriate that she did not do and that caused her to recoil and feel shame. “That was the day I stopped being me. I lost my confidence and I assimilated into the world until I was 40 years old.” Today she is a mother to many daughters as she works with girls who have been robbed of their identities in a more horrifying way at a very young age; they were sold for sex and told this was what they were born to do. “The internet glorifies porn,” she said. “Each one of you can use your voice to protest this abuse of girls. Stop buying and listening to music and videos that feature women being used for sex.”
Jenny’s tips for being authentic in the social network:
- Pay attention to what breaks your heart. This is a clue to your destiny.
- Pay attention to what makes you mad. That can be a clue to your destiny.
- Try to remember your childhood dreams.
- Don’t stop being you. Have the courage to be you, even if it means you risk being laughed at.
- Do what you love to do, and seek out mentors who are doing your childhood dreams.
ABOUT: Banana Moments Foundation is a non-profit education center founded in Roseville, CA to strengthen the parent-child bond in a hyper-connected world. The BMF mission is to restore families with the mustard seed of faith that declares liberty already belongs to the soul because one God, the Creator of all humanity, grants every human being intelligence and free will to choose what to believe, and that is power that can never be taken, but is easily surrendered to the bully, the drug or the device. To that end, ten percent of all BMF proceeds are donated to prison ministries. Your Donations are greatly appreciated.
As the Sacramento Cyber Safety Examiner, my personal mission is to educate and inspire parents from all walks of life and social settings to realize their inherent authority to govern the home and educate the child about their own power; the personal power that comes from the spiritual resilience of your chosen faith. And so I write for Examiner.com to express the passion of my mother heart to a diverse audience.
Joanna Jullien is an author, educator and speaker on strengthening the parent-child relationship in a cyber powered world. She is a mother of two grown sons, the author of The Authority In Me: The Power of Family Life in the Network Culture, produces The Sacramento Cyber Safety Examiner column on Examiner.com, and is the CyberParenting advisor on The Fish 103.9FM. Her new book, A Google World in the Garden of Eden: Five Family-Safe Strategies for Texting and Social Media is now available for PC and all eReader formats including Kindle, Nook, iPad.