Love your selfie: Leadership program spreads self-love

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, March 29, 2017

“She is clothed in strength and dignity and she laughs without fear of the future,” reads Proverbs 31:25, which served as the inspiration for Rotarian Christy Goss to organize an event for young women to embrace their inner beauty.

The Love Your Selfie Event celebrated uniqueness and aimed to instill confidence in local young woman, Goss said.

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The free event was sponsored by the Rotary Club of Picayune and the Juniorette Diamond Club with the intent of providing a leadership program for middle and high school girls.

On March 25, about 80 young women participated in the day-long program, featuring Mississippi Senator Angela Hill, Pearl River County’s 2017 Distinguished Young Woman Kamryn Clymer, Picayune Memorial High School Assistant Principal/Coach Kristi Mitchell and Sav-A-Life Director Bonita Wynn. 

Three local boutiques, Bre’s, Dash Forward and Fly, participated in a fashion show directed by Ashley Breland, owner of Bre’s Clothing and Accessory Boutique, Goss said.

At the end of the day, the featured speaker took the stage, speaking to the girls about self-love.

Chrissy Miller is the founder of The D.I.V.A. Collective, which stands for daughters of integrity, virtue and accountability. She is also a music teacher and youth ministry director in Slidell, she said.

After struggling with a variety of situations, Miller said she found a mentor in Cindy Collins, the executive director of the Crisis Pregnancy Help Center in Slidell.

Now, as a 31-year-old woman, she decided to fulfill her dream of mentoring other young women in the community after prayer and thoughtful consideration,.

“God reminded me it was the perfect time because we don’t have to be perfect to help someone else,” Miller said.

Saturday, she spoke to the attendees about identity, destiny, values and experience.

“No matter how you came into this world, God has a plan for your life,” Miller said.

As a child, she struggled with her father’s drug abuse, a dependency on food stamps and those around her telling her she would end up just like her father.

But despite all of that, Miller said she made a promise to herself that she wasn’t going to let her environment determine who she was going to be.

“I came to a point when I realized God loves me, and how you define me is not how I will be defined,” she said.

Being born into a certain set of circumstances should never limit someone’s dreams or ability to fulfill them, no matter a person’s age, environment or set of circumstances, Miller said.

After deciding to study ministerial services and music at a college in Oklahoma, Miller said life led her to one phase after the next, eventually managing a New Orleans Jazz orchestra and performing at Carnegie Hall before coming back to Slidell where she hopes to open her own theater and music school.

“Performing at Carnegie Hall was not something I desired to do, but was one of those lagniappe things God blessed me with,” she said. “There’s no limit to what you can accomplish.”

Miller told the girls that ultimately, loving themselves, defining their own value and portraying that value to others is going to determine how they are treated.

“There’s a confidence that comes with knowing who you are,” she said. “Everything you need to be is already on the inside…you have the know-how, the capability and the passion, you just have to stir it up.”

About Julia Arenstam

Staff Writer

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