“I learned that your beauty is powerful & priceless... Each and every word is going to benefit me in life”. –Precious, age 14, former student of Realize Your Beauty
Powerful and priceless. That is the impact of promoting positive body image, self esteem, and kindness through the arts, and that’s exactly what Realize Your Beauty does. Through plays, workshops, and camps, Realize Your Beauty helps young people recognize their own unique gifts and the inner beauty they possess. As Stacey Merkl, Realize Your Beauty’s Founder and Executive Director, shares, students are taught to “put their energy into kindness, integrity, and respect toward themselves and others.”
Realize Your Beauty’s lessons encourage self-confidence and an understanding that being oneself is the best way to be, and they do so in a fun, engaging, and memorable way. Kids may be told that it’s important to respect themselves and one another, but the way they learn through Realize Your Beauty is more likely to stick with them because they get to experience it for themselves and see it come to life through theatre arts.
Currently, there are two different high school programs as well as a late elementary show. Realize Your Beauty carefully makes sure everything meets the level of the students the programs are designed for. Workshops for older students, for example, address issues such as eating disorders, always in an age-appropriate way.
With the See Beautiful Milestone Grant, Stacey and the folks at Realize Your Beauty will finally get to create and implement a program for the lower elementary school age group. They often get asked to provide a show for this age, but haven’t had the resources to do so until now. With the $1000 grant funding, they will be able to realize their vision to develop a play and production full of magical realism, classic clowning techniques, and puppetry, suitable for the younger audience.
Several hundred children each year have the potential to be reached once the program is developed. That’s several hundred children each year who will have the opportunity to hear that they are beautifully unique, from the inside out. This kind of creating beautiful with a sustainable impact and is exactly what See Beautiful was hoping to support when we dreamed up the Milestone Grant.
Jannan Poppen, Giving Coordinator
See beautiful in yourself.