American School Counselor Association and the Dove Self Esteem Project

Written by Samantha Lowe of Cairn Guidance in partnership with the Dove Self Esteem Project

Cairn Guidance recently represented the Dove Self-Esteem Project (DSEP) at the American School Counselor Association in Denver, CO. In attendance was myself, Heather Deckard and over 3,000 school counselors from around the globe. This trip was AMAZING! My boyfriend (Brandon) and I used this as an opportunity to take a road trip, so we loaded up our rental car and drove from Kentucky to Colorado. We arrived in Colorado after about 20 hours of driving. Normal people would want to sleep, but since we arrived early in the day we had to check out the Denver Zoo and the wonderful places to eat!

Before the conference we were slightly skeptical how the program would be received with school counselors, as we had mostly been attending Health and PE conferences such as SHAPE/AHPERDs. This skepticism quickly dissipated as within the first hour our booth was flooded with excited attendees eager to find a comprehensive program focused on supporting the self-esteem of their students.  Many school counselors had utilized aspects of the program before, such as the “Evolution” video. This powerful video was mentioned by counselors from Hawaii to Maine, who expressed what open/meaningful conversation it sparked between adolescent students. School counselors supported our message 100% and were excited to lead by example and join our social media movement! We also interviewed LaKesha Grooms, a school counselor from Georgia who won an all-expense paid trip to ASCA by implementing the DSEP lessons in 2016.

Read LaKesha’s interview and check out the pictures of conference attendees who participated in our #DoveSelfEsteemProject positive social media movement focusing on the attributes that make us unique!

Meet LaKesha Grooms, the School Counselor working on Body Confidence Issues at her school!

LaKesha Grooms is a School Counselor at Henderson Middle School in Jackson, Georgia and one of our 2016 incentive winners for the Dove Self-Esteem Project (DSEP). LaKesha won an all-expense paid trip to the American School Counselors Association’s (ASCA) National Conference in Denver, Colorado in July 2017.

LaKesha spent some time looking for resources to support students that struggled with their self-esteem. She noticed many of her students were struggling with body confidence issues and she happened to find the Dove Self-Esteem Project online.

LaKesha believes the curriculum, which includes a single-lesson and 5-lesson program is a great fit for students taught by school counselors. The program provides resources for students by providing skills-based instruction and learning; guidance on how to implement the program; and how to align the content with the American School Counselor Association standards.

When asked what she thought the impact on her students was, LaKesha said, “Identity! Many kids struggle with their identity. That goes hand in hand with a healthy self-esteem and being comfortable with who they are.” She loved how the program encouraged awesome discussions in class. Her groups really flowed and the kids were able to express themselves by sharing some personal things that they struggle with, such as the need to fit in with a certain group. The impact for her was getting them to start talking about themselves and acknowledging the fact they are different and unique.

She facilitated the program in small groups with about 10 students per group. The students were carefully selected since they were students that were struggling with self-esteem. LaKesha suggests that if implementing with groups versus in a classroom setting, capitalize on the program! Make it grow! You can use it in a variety of ways. They have clubs/flex groups at the end of the day during the last day of the month where students get to go to the class of their choice. You could embed this program into some of your current programs. You can get your science, health and PE teachers involved. She believes that when everyone is involved using the program it spills over!

LaKesha believes implementing the program is worth it and it is worth it for the kids!

Now for the best part, DOVE SELF-ESTEEM PROJECT WAS VOTED BEST BOOTH AT ACSA 2017! Winners were decided by conference attendees voting on the ASCA app, and we were extremely honored as this was the first year Dove Self-Esteem Project was in attendance! Cairn Guidance and DSEP wants to thank ASCA and its attendees for welcoming our mission and we look forward to working with more eager school counselors to help students achieve their full potential!

Now for the best part, DOVE SELF-ESTEEM PROJECT WAS VOTED BEST BOOTH AT ACSA 2017! Winners were decided by conference attendees voting on the ASCA app, and we were extremely honored as this was the first year Dove Self-Esteem Project was in attendance!

Cairn Guidance and DSEP wants to thank ASCA and its attendees for welcoming our mission and we look forward to working with more eager school counselors to help students achieve their full potential!