NNPS hosts More Than A Princess girls empowerment conference

Posted: November 14, 2023

Newport News Public Schools Youth Development Department hosted its 4th annual More Than A Princess Conference November 10 and 11 at Woodside High School.

Girls from all grade levels, including the Blossom program for elementary school students in grades three through five, Bloom program for middle school students and Flourish program for high school students, were invited to take part in the weekend's activities. An empowerment rally took place Friday evening and Saturday was filled with workshops.

Transportation was provided and more than 40 volunteers assisted with the event.

"The goal of the More Than A Princess conference was to provide students with an opportunity to build community and to learn skills and strategies that they can use as they navigate the many challenges that young people face today," said Bridget Adams, program administrator for NNPS Youth Development.

"It gave them the chance to feel seen, heard, valued, loved and affirmed. When asked if they had learned anything, many of the participants could explain not only what they learned in their sessions, but also how they planned to use what they learned to help themselves and others."

Nearly 500 students participated in the empowerment rally conference kickoff event Friday evening. Highlights included readings, performances, interactive activities, music and dancing, a photo booth and pizza dinner.

Approximately 200 middle and high school students attended Saturday's empowerment sessions on topics such as positive self-image, overcoming adversity, coping strategies and leadership. Kiahnna Patterson, weekend morning anchor at WAVY-TV 10 and a Warwick High School alumna, served as guest speaker during a lunch that included dancing. Attendees also participated in Zumba, ate meals together and participated in a "Pass the Mic" discussion.

"Special thanks to the Bloom, Blossom and Flourish coaches who lead those programs in their schools and to transportation who made it possible for all students to have access to this opportunity," Adams said.