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Addressing Girls' Mental Health and Self-Confidence: CISLA's Girls Empowerment Program in Partnership with Ulta Beauty

Building confidence in young girls is more crucial now than ever before.

Today, external influences, particularly social media, pose a significant threat to the self- esteem and confidence of young girls, with repercussions felt throughout our high schools. 

Research, such as that outlined in "The State of Girls' Mental Health and Self-Confidence in Charts," highlights the detrimental effects of low self-esteem on academic performance, mental health, and career aspirations among young girls. 

To address these challenges head-on and empower young girls, we seized the opportunity to collaborate with the Ulta Beauty Charitable Foundation and launch the Girls Empowerment Program.

This initiative, aligned with the foundation's commitment to enhancing the education and well-being of women and their families, aims to tackle self-esteem issues and the obstacles many young girls encounter in school. Hamilton High School in Los Angeles was chosen as our pilot school for the program's launch. 

Over a three-week period, participants engaged in after-school activities and workshops focusing on personal growth, building healthy relationships, and leadership development. Each student was paired with a mentor from Ulta Beauty, providing them with invaluable one-on-one discussions to explore the concept of beauty and its significance. 

During the first week, mentors and mentees explored self-empowerment through self-care in an interactive workshop led by CISLA. Through discussions and activities, they delved into their perceptions of beauty and shared their thoughts on self-care practices. Utilizing a self-care wheel comprised of various facets of self care including, gratitude and mindfulness, values, setting limits, and more,  participants identified specific areas for self-care and concluded the session by writing positive affirmations about themselves. 

In week two, an interactive career panel introduced mentees to various career opportunities in the retail and beauty industry. Presenters shared their personal career journeys, including challenges faced and the role of education in their success. These stories served as inspiring examples, offering alternative pathways to career fulfillment. 

"I liked how we grouped up and talked about how they got the job they have now."- student participant

To conclude the program, students embarked on a field trip to a local Ulta Beauty retail store, where they explored the concept of "illuminating natural beauty." Paired with beauty consultants, they received personalized tips and tricks to enhance their natural beauty. This experience reinforced the importance of self-care and encouraged students to embrace their physical and personal identities. 

We are grateful to each of the Ulta Beauty mentors for their vulnerability in sharing their personal journeys with our students and equipping them with the tools and mindset needed to thrive in all aspects of their lives.  

Thank you to the Ulta Beauty Charitable Foundation for the incredible opportunity to make a difference in the lives of young girls.  

"The program was amazing and I think they should have things like this at every school."- student participant

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