Two middle school girls from Oregon have come up with a community service project that aims to help other girls build self-esteem and develop positive body images.
Avery Burn and Genae Vanek, who are seventh-graders at Rock Creek Middle School in Happy Valley, Oregon, created a project called “Love My Reflection” in which donated compact mirrors were inscribed with positive messages on the inside of them.
“They chose to work on something close to them–negative self-esteem–which is something they’ve experienced themselves in the form of peer pressure and negative words,” Burn’s mother, Annie, told ABC News.
Some of the positive handwritten messages include:
“You are beautiful.”
“You are gorgeous.”
“Our mission is to help develop positive self-esteem and body images in middle school girls by engaging in peer to peer interaction and giving out mirrors with encouraging statements written on them,” the duo wrote on the project’s GoFundMe page. “Our hope is that girls will be accepted for who they are and feel good about themselves from receiving uplifting words from other girls.”
According to Burn and Vanek, there are more than 8,000 middle school girls in their community, which is “an overwhelming potential for thousands to feel negative body image, low self-esteem, and rejection.”
The girls plan to expand their project to other middle schools in the area, and also help boost student morale at Rock Creek Middle School.
“We did this project because girls should feel they’re wonderful, and we wanted to help them create a positive self-esteem,” Vanek said.