Inside Peek: Q&A with BIO Girls Mentor
Q&A with BIO Girls mentor, Nicole Spelhaug!
Why do you feel a connection to the BIO Girls mission?
"I am a mother of four kids, two of which are girls that are 10 and 14 years old. As a mom one of the hardest things for me is having a child who has hurt feelings or struggles with self-esteem due to their peers. When I heard about BIO Girls I knew it was an activity we just had to get involved in. I watched how the lessons impacted my oldest daughter and we as a family all learned through that first year and had many in depth conversations about the lesson each week and how they fit into our life. It was fun for my oldest daughter to walk us through the lessons and not only did it help her but her younger sister and two brothers as well were learning each week."
Briefly describe your experience as a volunteer mentor with BIO Girls.
"This is my second year as a mentor at BIO Girls. Working with 3 fantastic young girls last year was such an amazing experience. I got to watch each of them grow in confidence each week. Seeing all three of them at the end of the season accomplish their goals for the 5k was the best feeling. In that race I was able to see the lessons we had worked on all season come out. Having confidence to run on ahead of me while putting forth effort and positive attitudes I realized the change in confidence in the girls from the start of the season."
Do you have a favorite story to share about mentoring?
"During the first outdoor run last year I was excited. I am a runner and couldn’t wait to get outside with these girls. I was very quickly reminded that not everyone shares that enthusiasm. One girl looked right at me and said, “you are being way to positive, running stinks.” Little ones speak the truth. Last year we had a lesson on failure and we were not allowed to help our groups. They made towers out of spaghetti noodles, yarn and tape. Watching the girls working and seeing each personality come out in that lesson was a highlight. I had one shy girl who pulled a couple materials and was really pondering how to make it work. She worked hard and her tower was working. The other girls in the group took notice of that and saw her idea was working. It gave her the chance to be a leader that day. I remember telling her after the lessons, “You have great ideas and your idea is the one that worked. Trust yourself and use your voice to speak up and share your thoughts with others.” That was one of my favorite lessons last year."
What do people who may not be familiar with BIO Girls need to know?
"BIO Girls can help all girls. It isn’t just for girls that might seem to have poor self esteem. I believe every girl even confident leaders can take the lesson from each week BIO Girls and go back into their schools and be positive role models and use these lessons to help build up those around them as well. The lessons each week remind me as a mom what I want for my kids and is a great dialogue at the dinner table."