I chose STRENGTH as my one word 2 years ago while leading my bible study. I had lost 35 pounds and was working on my inner strength while improving my physical health. During this time, I had the strength to grow: I got a role in my community play, entered the Mrs. Minnesota pageant, entered a fitness competition, started a second business and accepted a different teaching position at the high school.
At the high school, I immediately saw many teenage girls who needed some guidance. They seemed lost and were often making choices that didn't seem in their best interest. I decided to start a girl group to work on confidence.
The first few sessions were very limited in attendance, but a difference was being made. One of the students came to me at Christmas with a book that she had received. She said, "Mrs. McConkey I think you and I should read this together." I was amazed to see that the book was from the site I frequented for information: I Am That Girl. She joined me during her lunch every day and we read and highlighted in the book. We laughed and connected.
In January, I suggested she interview to start an I Am That Girl chapter at our school. She did and was selected! She has now taken over the group and attendance is growing!
I've seen her grow. I've seen her lead. I've seen her push herself athletically. She has even wrote and starred in her own play! She is amazing! She will move mountains.
I gave her the key not only because she needs it (she is only 15 years old), but also because she will know when to give it away. It was important to me and it will be to her. It will connect us, bond us, and it will continue to do the same to whoever needs it next.