I woke up this morning and it finally came to me. Would you rather have your daughter graduate from high school with AP Calculus or confidence? Would you rather she come home with an A in Science and Social Studies or self-esteem and self-worth? Would you rather your daughter learn Latin or leadership skills? I know my answer.

Why aren’t we teaching girls confidence, self-worth and leadership skills in the classroom? I don’t know the answer to that, but I do know that’s where Wellfit Girls Program comes into the mix. The moment I heard about Wellfit Girls Program, I instantly wanted to get involved. I got goose bumps. I knew that this program was what I was missing growing up. I don’t know how my life would have been different, but I know it would have been. I also don’t dwell on the past, but rather the future and the potential that this program has to change lives right here in Southwest Florida.

I went to a very good, private “Blue Ribbon” high school in Minneapolis and consistently came home with A’s and B’s. I got a wonderful education and was considered a good student by my parents, teachers and peers. I wasn’t the best test taker, but I studied a lot, worked hard, went to a good college and graduated cum laude. What I didn’t graduate with was confidence, self-esteem, self-worth, and the skills to step into a leadership role. I think sometimes we forget that these are qualities that are generally sucked out of us in our middle school and high school years, but these are qualities that we can re-teach and instill in our teens before they go off to college.

Wellfit Girls Program isn’t always easy to explain in 10-20 seconds. I constantly think about our “elevator pitch” and how to better get our vision and dreams across to the community; not only to donors, but to parents. How do we get them to come on board and invest in their daughter’s future? Invest in their daughter’s time and invest into this program? It makes me sad to think there may be parents out there who don’t think their daughter needs this program. Trust me, I was that daughter. I promise you, no matter how perfect they look on the outside, no matter how great their grades are, no matter how much they already volunteer in the community, they need to get OUTSIDE and out of the classroom to gain confidence, self-esteem and leadership skills because it is those skills, along with their academics, that will get them hired, promoted and ultimately lead to success.

Here is an email I received from a parent of one of our 2015 Wellfit Girls about a month after we returned from Peru. I will leave you with her experience of Wellfit Girls Program:

Hi Colby!

First I want to thank you, Jill, and Andrew for making this year at Wellfit such a success for Libby. I truly believe that this has been an experience that has helped shape and will change some things in her life. I love the whole concept of a group of young women working on leadership, trust, facing fears, and becoming educated on their health and wellbeing. I liked that she got out in the community and became a part of all of your different fundraising events. Even though the girls are responsible for raising their own money, you had SO many great ways for them to do that. It taught Libby about reaching goals and working together as a team. Your weekly meetings, and the different people you brought in to prepare these girls was over the top. The physical workouts that Andrew prepares and the time he puts in on making these girls feel good about themselves helped her so much with her self-esteem.

The trip these girls take in June was one of the best experiences Libby has ever had. She loved the idea of giving back to people that were so much less fortunate than we are. I think it gave her a different perspective on life. Just having that awareness has helped her with decisions since she’s been back. The hike was another challenge that taught her she can accomplish anything she puts her mind to. One of the things I liked is that it taught her how powerful her mind is and that if she stays focused, she can do anything her heart dreams of. Reaching the top, taught her exactly that. I would recommend this program to anybody that has a daughter. I believe it is experiences like this that will help shape Libby into the best person she can be. I have much gratitude towards the Wellfit Girls Program. I am blessed that our family was able to participate. Thank you!    

Applications for Peru 2016 are now available! 

We are looking for teen girls (9th-12th grade) to participate in the five-month leadership, fitness + empowerment program beginning January 2016. Wellfit Girls – Peru 2016 will be led by Colby Robertson and Andrew Miranti.