Program Outline 2017-11-10T17:52:08+00:00

The Girls Empowerment Workshop aims to educate, empower and inspire girls by raising awareness, developing communication skills and cultivating self respect. We do this through our two-day workshop for 6th graders as well as our 8-10 week curriculum for 7-12th Graders, in which all genders are welcome and includes the following subject matter:

Self Worth & Respect
Communication Skills
Bullying & Sexual Harassment
Media Literacy & Social Media
Implicit Bias, Racism & Privelege
Body Image, Eating Disorders & Self Care
Anxiety, Depression, Self  Injury & Suicide
Comprehensive Sex Education:
Gender & Sexuality
Consent, Safer Sex, Birth Control, Postponement
Sexual Assault Awareness & Education
Sex Trafficking Awareness & Education
Healthy Relationships and Relationship Safety
Personal Safety, Assertiveness & Self Defense Instruction                                                                                                                                               
Guest Speakers/ Role Models/ Teen Mentors                                                            
Wilderness Trips
Special Events
All classes maintain respect for individuality & personal rights,
allowing open discussion without judgement.
Put downs and disrespect will not be tolerated.

From the Parents of our Participants…

“My daughter has utilized some of the specific skills that you taught her in her current relationship with a very nice boy. It is her first “boyfriend,” and it has been a bit of a tumultuous ride.  In working through some of the issues with her, she specifically referenced things she had learned from you.  To me, that says you are doing something special for these girls, and for that I am deeply grateful.  In addition, she also commented that she knew things I was talking about (from a movie) because she had learned them from you – yes, they are more “adult” in nature, but I’m so glad she learned them in a safe, appropriate, environment. She is a very innocent, kind, reserved girl. Girls like that can be “at-risk” when it comes to these issues, and I feel strongly that your program helped me be a better parent. I had no concerns before, during, or after, because your program comes with a long line of credibility in this community – parents I like and respect made sure their girls went to your program, and I feel the same way. I hope not only that it continues, but that it grows to include a boys’ version! Yes, she had the strength to handle things in a very mature manner, and has showed a level of wisdom and maturity I don’t think she would have had but for your workshop.”
– Carolyn Vondriska

“When girls are given permission to speak freely, no matter how sensitive the subject, a little at a time its starts chipping down the wall of fear that keeps them from expressing the fullness of who they are, instead of just reacting, they feel empowered to make an impact on the world. I saw the evolution of that with Raksha.”
– Akka B

“At Vista Real, many of our students struggle with obstacles in their personal lives that directly affect their academic performance.  On my supervising roster I have students who are transitioning to becoming a parent, who have suffered abuse, who are homeless, or who are experiencing a wide range of mental illnesses. Our students, many of whom are at risk of dropping out, need extra support due to these challenges. Girl’s Empowerment is one way that Vista Real can provide this much needed support. Girl’s Empowerment is a safe space for students to learn factual information while reflecting on their own personal experiences. Through incorporating student voice into the workshop discussion, students are able to take ownership over their learning and develop the confidence that is necessary to succeed academically and personally. Confidence is important for all young adults, but particularly for our students who are enrolled in an independent study environment. In this environment, students must advocate for their own learning — with no confidence it is difficult for students to participate successfully in our program. By the conclusion of the workshop, our young ladies were more informed on a variety of issues  including but not limited to: domestic violence, body image and eating disorders, sex trafficking, and healthy communication strategies. They are now able to take the practical, real world knowledge that they have built into the community to engage and educate other young women like themselves. In this way, through the workshop, they begin as students, but emerge as lifelong learners applying content to practice. If that is not the goal of an education — what is?” 
– Laura Dixon, English Teacher

“Five years ago, I discovered a little more about Tobi.  Her compassion and empathy and passion about women having a voice and to stand in their own power, was instrumental in a challenging situation my daughter was facing.  It was more than I knew how to handle and Tobi reached out and invited my daughter to participate in The Girls’ Empowerment workshops.  She was 12 when she began the workshops and is, at the time of this writing, soon to be 18. My daughter was surrounded by other young girls who were facing their own challenges.  There was a new strength coming from her;  I believe it was due to her awareness that she is part of a group.  The workshops touched on so many facets that young girls to adult women face.  How to navigate these challenges is huge in what Tobi and her mentors bring to light.  I am aware that the problems do not go away, necessarily, but the awareness and empowerment offered is and has been hugely useful for my daughter and the rest of my family.  I had the honor of speaking in front of one of the workshops.  Looking into the younger eyes and knowing pain was everywhere in the room, all grades of pain, I cried sharing my pain and how I have learned as an empowered woman to stand in my power, accept that there are things that cannot be undone, but what to do with right now is much of my approach.  Oh, the questions and anxiousness and hope I witnessed and addressed, seemed like hope was rising in the young women, that there is the chance, once one does stand in their own power, of a happy and fulfilling life.”
 – Most sincerely, Stacey Jones, Owner of Ojai Coffee Roasting Company