By Britnee Contessa
(AJNews) – It was during a jog on Father’s Day of 2019 when I decided that I was going to start my business as a female youth advocate. Following university, my professional background largely centered around female youth work. Working with young women is something that comes naturally to me and it is something that I am passionate about. I knew that I wanted to continue to help female youth to be their best selves, to instill in them the self-esteem and confidence that my mother instilled in me. She passed away when I was 13, yet she continues to be a daily source of strength and inspiration. I also knew that I was no longer meant to be an employee. Just like that, Femmepowered was born!
When Covid-19 made its appearance in Canada, I had just been preparing myself to conduct in-school workshops for female youth, ages 12-17. Of course, that was no longer an option due to public health restrictions. With this in mind, I began to reconfigure my services. I decided that individual consulting would be better aligned with my skill set, rather than facilitating in group settings given the circumstances. I still hope to provide group sessions in the future.
I am certain that many people thought I was a bit too optimistic when I officially launched my services in Summer 2020. However, these services are needed now more than ever. Our youth have been experiencing significant developmental changes, all while navigating a pandemic. At a time when they are discovering their identities and building their social circles, they have been forced into isolation. In-school supports have been cut drastically, and many youth are struggling inwardly. Parents are juggling endless responsibilities while trying to provide the best possible care for their children. As a mother, I understand that some days can feel heavy and unbearable, especially with regards to our children. We question whether we are doing enough, and if our kids are safe, both physically and mentally. As such, I assist the parents just as much as I assist the youth.
Though I work with women of all ages, I am exceptionally passionate about youth. At present, I offer ‘Your Best Self- Teen’ for young women who are requiring extra support. My aim is to work with clients to set goals, to build self-esteem, to develop leadership skills, and to ultimately guide them on their unique journeys to their best selves. My clients feel heard, supported, and worthwhile, and their parents feel relieved knowing that there is an extra person rooting for their daughters’ success. I truly believe that there is no limit to what a girl can achieve when she has the right team behind her. The world is slowly recognizing this, and I am so honoured to be part of this time in history.
During initial sessions, I spend much of the time getting to know my clients. Developing a trusting relationship is key to building success. Together, we identify areas of struggle, but we also focus heavily on individual strengths. The amount of sessions that a client requires is completely up to her and often depends on the issues at hand. I often tell my clients that they are in the driver’s seat; I am simply a compassionate navigation tool to help them along their way. I cannot emphasize enough how much I love what I do!
For more information about me and my services, I invite you to visit my website at www.femmepoweredyeg.com. I am always happy to answer any questions!