‘Life On Fleek’ Summit Builds Teens’ Confidence

By Tori Walker The Ledger, Lakeland, Fla. WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) From the importance of setting boundaries to tips on eating healthy and staying active, girls learned what it means to be "on fleek" or rather "on point" at a special summit focused on teens. LAKELAND

Nicole Hall wants to teach teenage girls that the words, "On Fleek," are more than just a hashtag.

"A lot of girls don't have guidance, they are wayward," she said. "I just want to show them strong, educated and positive women doing good things in their life and in the community."

And that's exactly what she did at her, "Life on Fleek," teen girl's summit Saturday evening at the Simpson Park Community Center.

On fleek refers to something being, "on point," or perfectly executed.

About 50 teenage girls were there to listen, learn and be, "exposed to something different," Hall said.

Hall, who lives in Lakeland, said she was raised by her father and didn't really have a strong female influence for a good portion of her life.

She said hearing from women who project positivity and confidence is critical for teenage girls.

"I want to expose them to and show them that you can still be a fashionable and cool, as they would say, while still being educated," she said.

Hall plans on doing more events in the future.

At the summit the teen girls learned about: -- The importance of education. -- Phonetics. -- The importance of setting boundaries. -- The importance of eating healthy and staying active. -- A good exercise regimen. -- Maintaining a positive image. -- Mental Health and peer pressure. -- Achieving success.

Marquita Bailey, a local singer whose stage name is Em Bailey, spoke to the girls about maintaining a positive image.

The Haines City native said she wanted to be an inspiration to the girls as well as a mentor.

"I want to show them how important it is to carry yourself well and from an early age," she said.

Bailey said being in the music industry, she has learned how important it is to make a good impression, but always in a way that is true to who you are.

"It's very important you don't lose yourself," she said.

"I want to show them how to dress for interviews and things like that, but how to still be unique and have your own style. It's cool to be different."

Sarah Teri Smith, who acted as host of the summit, told the girls that the only way they will have limitations on their lives is if they put them there.

"What are you going to allow limit you?," she asked them. "I'm not going to allow anything to limit me."

Smith shared a story of how she was once paralyzed from the waist down, but has now walked across runways and pageant stages. "Your limitations only last for as long as you allow them," she said.

A 15-year-old who attended the summit, Shyte-asia James, said she struggles with many of the topics the women were speaking on and that she hopes they will help her to overcome them.

"I want to be as strong as they are," she said, referring to the women hosting the summit.

James shared a poem with the other girls, one that she said she wrote for Harrison School for the Arts.

The poem referred to how when people try to put others down, they are only putting themselves down, too.

"It's to show that we really aren't that different," she said.

Smith said it was amazing something so deep could come from the mind of a 15-year-old, but that age shouldn't keep someone from pursuing their dreams.

"You are never too young to dream," she said, "You can be an entrepreneur now if you want."

James said she felt inspired by what she was being taught at the summit.

"I don't want to let things limit me," she said. "I want to push myself to my full potential so I can achieve."

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