A Lithia nonprofit aims to give a safe, comfortable environment for kids to be themselves.
Girls with Confidence started in 2011 as a place where other girls can mentor, make friends and feel more confident in themselves.
Nancy Lemon, Founder and CEO of Girls and Boys with Confidence said, "So I love what we're doing., because it gives kids a really safe and comfortable environment to come, be themselves talk about what they're experiencing, whether it's challenges with friendships, maybe some things at home, and they also get to hear from their peers what they're experiencing as well. So then they don't feel they're alone in that."
Inside the nonprofit, you'll find a place where kids can craft, play video games, and bond.
Outside is a farm with rabbits, chickens, goats and even tortoises, giving kids plenty of opportunities to explore.
Last Fall, Nancy Lemon also started Boys with Confidence, so this safe haven is no longer just for girls.
"Read some statistics recently that and probably these are post-pandemic, 30% of our youth is experiencing either anxiety or depression in some way. And that's pretty scary. And so Girls and Boys with Confidence gives people just that place to be themselves come and have fun. Experience the farm animals and do some crafts," explained Lemon.
They offer many different programs, including summer camps.
"Kindergarten all the way through high school. And so it is a big group, not altogether, what we do is we have different programs we have, it's called Confident Girls and Confident Boys for K through fifth. As they get into middle school, the program is called Girls with Leadership for middle school, Guys with Character for middle school. And then when we get into high school, right now, we only have the girls' program, but this fall, we're looking at integrating the boys into their own high school program. But it's called the Young Women's Leadership Council. And what we do is, it's really cool. We get mentors and women from the community to pair up with our participants," said Lemon.
There is also a scholarship program through their non-profit to help those who may not be able to afford the program.
For those seeking Bright Futures Volunteer hours, those are offered here, as well.
You can click here for more details on their programs.