Thank you for the Mother and Daughter workshop. I honestly thought I knew my daughter since we spent ample time together. The workshop made me realize the little moments matters. The little things matter. I thought purple was her favorite color! The experience was wonderful. My recommendation would be to make the workshop longer than a one-day workshop. Imagine what could be uncovered!
Teresa and Jen McNabb – Cochrane, Alberta
Thank you for coming out and joining us. It was a great afternoon and we got some wonderful feedback so it seems like everyone had a good time. Some of them are already asking when the next one is, just like you said they would!
T. Cheremshynski, Community Programmer, Tofield/Ryley/Beaver County West FCSS
I am so thankful that you and your colleague came out and spent two days with our students. The students were engaged in the activities you provided them and they really enjoyed the time spent with you. The hands-ons activities allowed our students to boost their self-esteem and gave them a positive outlook as individuals. We actually had students who were not shy to partake in the Christmas concert and one (who was extremely shy, take the stage herself. Great job in helping out students out that way. Looking forward to you coming back in the next school year.
In a society that portrays impossible standards for physical beauty, it was both refreshing and uplifting to participate in a workshop aimed at celebrating female strength and confidence. ..We loved learning about each other and ourselves, which enriched our relationship and opened opportunities for future conversations.
Elizabeth and Ania – Mother and Daughter Workshop
I have seen the impact that the Empowered Youth Workshops has had on our female students. They are able to take shy girls, with low self-esteem and transform them into confident young women by giving them a skill set they didn’t know they had. ..I was extremely happy with the content of the sessions. They provided positives messages to our students. I look forward to working with them again.
Amanda Weber – Teacher, Rosslyn Junior High 2014
By talking to Harriet, I discovered that this woman was a real humanist, a simple person who is listening and whose sole purpose is to make our world better. Thank you Harriet for all you are doing for our youth, because these young people are our future and if we do not prepare well our future today, our future will be compromised. So, thank you for all what you are doing for our communities. Thank you for being among the people who make our city so special and so unique.
Jeanne Lehman – Présidente, Francophonie albertaine plurielle (FRAP)
Harriet is engaging and positive. She brings the client through a process of self-awareness that allows greater clarity in setting priorities and in developing effective approaches to challenges.”
Joseph Lee – Edmonton, AB
Thank you for coaching our CMA group. Our group felt prepared and was appreciative with the coaching you did for us. The best part is we passed the board exam and are on our way to using the three CMA letters soon CPA behind our names. Thank you so much for your positive inspiration and guidance.
Jeanne Lehman – Présidente, Francophonie albertaine plurielle (FRAP)
We were so glad to have you speak to our girls at our International Women’s Day conference in March. It is not easy to capture and hold the attention of seventy-five teenagers, but from the moment you started talking you had them listening attentively. We appreciated you sharing the difficulties you have encountered to become the strong and joyful woman that you are. ..I am sure that the young women, and the adults too, left your talk feeling stronger, more capable and able to see happiness and success in their own futures
Bev Curtis – For all of the Jean Forest Leadership Academy staff
Before inviting Harriet to be our keynote speaker at the International Women’s Day 2015, I organized for the Africa Centre, I had heard about her as an accomplished woman in her life: mother of three, Management Accountant accredited professional, active woman as a volunteer for various organizations, and especially as youth educator who help these young people develop self-esteem, and better prepare to build a good life for themselves, and for their community. Indeed, it’s Harriet’s role with youth that motivated me to approach her since many youth in Edmonton including youth African need tools to help them have good achievement in their life and be good citizens of tomorrow. These young people often face more than we think regarding the events experienced by their parents who are fighting hard to be successful in their role as parents, and in their immigration process. These young people who, in addition to the difficult times they are facing due to their age often need someone to tell them that everything is possible, and that they have lots of qualities and strengths to succeed. Harriet realized that our youth need to be listened, encouraged and guided. She embarked on this adventure with her beliefs, her conviction and her determination. By talking to Harriet, I discovered that this woman was a real humanist, a simple person who is listening and whose sole purpose is to make our world better. Thank you Harriet for all you are doing for our youth, because these young people are our future and if we do not prepare well our future today, our future will be compromised. So, thank you for all what you are doing for our communities. Thank you for being among the people who make our city so special and so unique.
Toya, Sam, Dave and James – CMA Candidates, Edmonton, AB
I noticed a big difference in my behavior already this week particularly at work, due to all this training provided by Empowered Youth. I think all this practice of doing things out of my comfort zone, especially the presentation practice on Saturday, made me a bit more confident now. Especially focusing on breathing helps me feel confident and have good posture. I used to get so anxious and just look at the ground a lot. Now I feel a lot less anxious around work, am looking back at people more, and saying hi and smiling more at people. I’m going to keep practicing at work; I think it’s a great environment to push out of my comfort zone with simple things like making eye contact. Instead of looking away from people or looking down and being nervous like usual I feel more relaxed, confident, I can look back and the people, and I can notice my surroundings more. Also how I walk, breathe, carry myself, and my posture is better and I feel more relaxed. I know I have a ways to go but I think whatever we are doing so far is making a big difference
Catherine – Miss Earth Delegate, Miss Air
I would like to take this opportunity to express my appreciation to Empowered Youth for delivering workshops in diverse areas such as Effective Communication skills, Time management skills and Presentation skills to Newcomer Youth. The content was appropriate for Newcomer Youth to apply in their daily lives to improve their skills. The facilitators’ positive attitude and passion for youth made the workshops very engaged with the students. I also appreciate Empowered Youth being flexible to modify the activities geared to English Learning students so they could understand better and fully engaged during the sessions. I would like to continue to work with them and would also recommend them to other schools or youth groups looking for enhancing youth capacity
Sherry Park – Program Manager, New Immigrant Youth Camp program, Action for Healthy Communities
As a teacher at Rosslyn Junior High School, I have been able to work with Empowered Youth. They have been involved with numerous students of Rosslyn Junior High School in various capacities. I have seen the impact that the Empowered Youth Workshops has had on our female students. They are able to take shy girls, with low self-esteem and transform them into confident young women by giving them a skill set they didn’t know they had. Empowered Youth also volunteered their time to come and support Rosslyn School’s first Girls Day Conference. They provided mini-sessions for groups of our students with the goal of empowering our female students. I was extremely happy with the content of the sessions. They provided positives messages to our students. I look forward to working with them again
Amanda Weber – Teacher, Rosslyn Junior High
I am pleased to write this letter of reference for Harriet Tinka and Marion Rebonne. These two amazing women run workshops for young women through their organization called Empowered Youth. These workshops help youth realize their full potential through a series of sessions that deal with body image, self-esteem, turning negative thoughts into positive ones and improving self-confidence.
I am the Assistant Principal at Rosslyn Jr. High and Harriet and Marion approached me last spring about running some workshops in my school. We have a number of students who would benefit from interactions with confident female role models who could help them gain a positive, healthy identity. I talked about my students and how many would benefit from improved self-worth, communication and interpersonal skills and the confidence to make positive choices.
Before I had a chance to apply for grants that would allow us to hire Harriet and Marion, they approached me once again with an amazing opportunity. They were running a workshop starting in October and offered two of my students an opportunity to attend; free of charge! The two girls I chose were both having some significant self-esteem issues and had become depressed and were self-harming. They had a great deal of responsibility but were not always making the best choices. Both girls’ families were very excited and thankful for this opportunity.
Over the course of 6 weeks, I have seen some significant changes in the girls! Both girls have stopped the self-harming and talk openly about the positive messages they try to give to themselves. They carry themselves more confidently and are taking more care in their appearance. Both girls have talked about “what’s possible” in their futures and are making healthier decisions. I believe they are happier!
It is without hesitation that I would recommend the workshops Empowered Youth put on. Both Harriet and Marion are passionate about helping young people. Please do not hesitate to call me if you should have further questions
I would like to thank Harriet and Marion for allowing these girls to attend their workshops and to acknowledge that both these amazing women have gone above and beyond. One of the girls has talked about her goals of becoming a lawyer and Harriet is looking for an opportunity for her to talk to some lawyers. Both of the girls have expressed an interest in dance and Marion arranged for them to volunteer at the Edmonton Ballet and meet some of the dancers. They also set up an opportunity for the girls to play water polo so they can have some different experiences and I know both girls have contacted Harriet and Marion outside of the workshop to talk. We know that the more positive role models these girls have in their lives, the more resilient they will become.
Yours In Learning,
Andrea Cooper – M. Ed. Assistant Principal, Rosslyn School, December, 2013
Thank you Harriet. I am excited to continue to grow using the tools you have taught me. I am sure you will go on to touch so many lives. I think your workshops are wonderful way to give back to society. I am thankful to have been apart of the spectacular learning experience. Thank you again for all you have taught me, for having me apart of the media interview. I am always happy to help share the news of your workshops. Thanks.
Rose – Empowered Youth Graduate
In a society that portrays impossible standards for physical beauty, it was both refreshing and uplifting to participate in a workshop aimed at celebrating female strength and confidence. Through role-playing, thoughtful question prompts, and sharing their own stories, Empowered Youth provided us with the time, space, and tools to openly discuss our insecurities and connect on a deeper level. We loved learning about each other and ourselves, which enriched our relationship and opened opportunities for future conversations. We highly recommend the Mother-Daughter Workshop!
Elizabeth and Ania – Mother and Daughter Workshop
I would like to give a HUGE shout out to Marion Rebonne and Harriet Tinka with Empowered Youth for facilitating an amazing workshop for our youth! I have heard from many parents already that their kids had an awesome time and I firmly believe the material that was shared is crucial to living a healthy and confident life. This dynamic duo is more than prepared to empower the youth and I recommend their services to any youth groups looking to instill confidence and incite some personal growth!
Thank you again Empowered Youth, we are definitely looking forward to our next workshop :D!!!
Taylor Bull- Louis Bull Tribe (Maskwacis)
Testimonial from Empowered Youth Graduate – “Empowered Lyrics”
“Yo I feel proud cause I’m me yeah I’m feeling free got nothing bad to say feeling good in every way and I owe it all to this have confidence and bliss now I changed I rearranged It made me stronger Won’t doubt myself any longer Holding my head high Got me feeling Fly Its cool We all rule I used to hate myself Now I rerate myself I have a smile and it took a while I’ll put this song in my pile Im Living Free from giving It changed my mind I was so blind It changed my life And made it right It gave me skill Gave me will Gave me power Standing tall like a tower I’ll never be taken down or have a frown I made it from my town Wearing the Crown”
Delaney – 2014 Graduate
After meeting Harriet at a Women’s Conference I knew her Empowered Youth workshops would be an amazing addition to our Kids with Cancer programs. Although out of their usual demographic, our new program for boys ages 10+ was a challenge they overcame and exceeded expectations. The Let Everything Out (LEO) program allows boys that have cancer, survived cancer or are siblings to someone who has/had cancer to come together in a safe space with other boys going through similar situations. Empowered Youth used PowerPoint and hands-on activities to present on overcoming obstacles and goal setting. Each presentation was received by engaged young men that shared stories about their challenges and future goals.
They also joined us for a spa day for our Look Good Feel Better program for girls and presented on communication. Mothers and daughters both learnt about different styles of communication and how to converse with themselves and others to convey confidence. Although not placed in an ideal location, Empowered Youth lead by example, exuding the confidence and assertiveness they taught.
The Kids with Cancer Society looks forward to our continued relationship with Empowered Youth in hopes of empowering the youth in the cancer community.”
Courtney Rosborough BA CCLS – Certified Child Life Specialist, Kids with Cancer Society
Harriet and Marion are a pleasure to work with because of their positive attitude and how personable and supportive they are. They are always telling me how much they believe in me, they show much patience when I am learning, and they have become like sisters to me already. The level of commitment and dedication Harriet and Marion provide to their students is above and beyond expectation. As well as teaching the in-course classes, they spend time mentoring every student outside of class. Not only is this done on a one-on-one basis, but it is done on their personal time. In my case, to train me for a beauty pageant, they coached me extensively each day for a month, and did so at no extra cost. This was out of the kindness of their hearts, on top of their full time jobs and family lives. They helped prepare me through a range of assistance including e-mails, phone calls, meetings, setting me up with dance instructors, lending me clothes, doing research, shopping trips, and much more. In addition, they offered me moral support and words of encouragement every step of the way, including driving across the province just to cheer me on at my competition. To this day, I am still receiving one-on-one mentoring from them outside of class. Their passion, enthusiasm, and love of helping others is both evident and outstanding. The wide variety of knowledge acquired through Harriet and Marion’s Empowered Youth Class can be used to prepare anyone for anything they may encounter, as it is both practical and relevant to daily living. From their own life experience, they teach us realistic skills such as time management, financial management, effective presentation and public speaking skills, communication skills, being positive, confident, assertive, and even walking and makeup lessons to name a few. Their teaching methods are both innovative and effective. They deliver useful content combined with hands-on practice to bring these skills into action. As a result, their class is successful at self empowerment, and increasing self confidence and self esteem. After each lesson, I experience noticeable increases in my own self confidence and self esteem. For example, my posture, walking, public speaking, inter-personal interactions, and confidence level all took on a noticeably positive change. I am very grateful for this as it is life changing in both my work life and personal life. With all of these qualities in mind, I feel confident recommending Harriet and Marion and their Empowered Youth Class as they have the abilities, insight, and drive that will enable their students to be successful at becoming empowered and exceeding their goals.
CM – BSc Kinesiology
My adult daughter has recently graduated from the Empowered Youth program. Over the course of the program I have observed an increase in her self confidence and self esteem, improvement in her social skills and an increased interest in fitness and fashion. The course has assisted her to develop assertiveness techniques which have proved beneficial to improving her communication style and developing an overall happiness and feeling of acceptance by peers and facilitators in the program. The interactive participation among peers and facilitators proves to assist participants to practice the skills they have learned in a safe environment. I would highly recommend this program to anyone interested in personal self development.
JW, MSW RSW – Clinical Social Worker
I am Maranda Martiniuk, I am 17 years old and I am presently attending the Jasper Place Composite High School. I have gone through the Empowered Youth Program, when it was first started and it has helped me throughout my High School years. Each week, there was a different topic addressing the basic issues that us teens face each day but sometimes are not mentioned because we do not want to admit that we are going through them.
We have done workshops and skits on building our self-esteem by learning and understanding that we have to love and respect ourselves and others. We’ve done different activities to learn that we can overcome our fears and that we are capable in taking on a challenges and completing it successfully. We’ve also learned from the Empowered Youth in how to recognize and handle bullying by understand the stem of bullying which is insecurity. We also had different guest speakers that shared with us about their experiences and how they overcome their challenges to get to where they are now.
By going through the Empowered Youth program, I was able to recognize and build my confidence, with the support and help of Harriet Tinka and Marion Rebonne to pursue my modeling career. I am grateful that I was able to attend the Empowered Youth Program, which equipped me to pursue and face challenges that I would have not thought I would have taken.
Maranda Martiniuk – December 2013
I want to thank you so much for helping our daughter overcome her negative body image. We tried to change her thoughts on her self esteem many times, but could never convince her to see her self- worth. After attending your workshops you truly inspired her. We have had tears of joy seeing the amazing transformation in our little girl. Thank you so much Harriet for making such an impact on her”
Zahra – Mother of 14 year old
I learnt how to believe in me and that I am beautiful inside and out. Your sessions were amazing. I feel confident and really enjoyed the classes especially the modeling tips. You are a true inspiration and a mentor to us teen girls. Thank you Thank you. Wish all the girls could take your workshops
Caitlin – 16 years old
You have helped me and changed my life forever. You helped me get rid of the mean things I thought of about myself”
Yasmeen – 14 years old
I like the workshops because you get to meet people you can relate to, have fun and really think positive about life. I feel empowered and want to thank Harriet for the AMAZING WORKSHOPS. I believe in Me because am beautiful inside and out”
Joanna Mbanga – 11 years old
I feel I can think positive about myself to help me through schoolwork. When you are positive about yourself it shows when you interact with friends and family. I believe in Me because I have the tools to make smart decisions.
Miranda L. Martinuik – 17 years old
Before I attended the workshops, I was pretty confident. Since attending the workshops I have better friendships and have achieved so much more. Workshops are awesome, inspiring and literally life changing. I Believe in Me because I can stand up for myself.
Kojo – 12 years old
I loved the modeling sessions. It helped me understand all about the modeling industry. Harriet is so smart, funny and always there for us. I especially loved taking pictures. I believe in Me because I feel more confident and happier
Deborah Mbanga – 12 years old
Erika – 12 years old
The workshops were fun and I enjoyed listening to the speakers about self awareness, bullying and cyber bullying. I believe in Me because I am Erika”