Second Annual W.I.S.E. Girls Empowerment Camp On March 16

WILSON, N.C. — Barton College is excited to host the second annual W.I.S.E. Girls Empowerment Camp for girls in grades 6-12 on Saturday, March 16. W.I.S.E. stands for Women Inspiring Success and Empowerment, and this camp’s focus will be to empower and inspire young females through a series of fun activities and workshops that will also educate them about positive body image, self-esteem, goal-setting, leadership, health & fitness and more. Coordinating the event will be campus counselor Heather Brewer and members of the Women and Gender Studies Club.

The all-day camp will be held in Hamlin Student Center from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m., and will be limited to 40 participants from area middle schools and high schools. Students must be nominated by a teacher, counselor, principal, or other leader in the community. Nomination forms have been distributed to Wilson County schools’ counselor offices, and an electronic copy of the nomination form is also available by contacting Heather Brewer at 252-399-6587 or

Cost for registration is $5 per camper; light morning refreshments and lunch are included. The event cost has been offset by support from the Barton College Student Government Association, and Barton College Health Services.

“I want to encourage teachers and counselors to nominate girls in their schools for the W.I.S.E. Girls Empowerment Camp at Barton,” shared Heather Brewer, campus counselor at Barton. “This is a wonderful opportunity for mentorship as Barton’s female students reach out to serve as amazing role models for young girls in the Wilson community. Barton’s Women’s and Gender Studies club developed the plan for the camp.  They have done a wonderful job incorporating female leaders on the Barton Campus as well as Barton upperclassmen to make this event meaningful to all the participants.”

Keynote speaker for the event will be Dr. Jennifer O’Donoghue, Associate Professor of Physical Education and Sport Studies and Director of the Athletic Training Education.

In addition to Dr. O’Donoghue, other presenters include campus counselor Heather Brewer, visiting instructor of psychology Ashley Gardner, senior mass communications major Catherine Okafor, and senior physical education major Amber Weaver.

Following the keynote address, there will be four workshops for participants. “How do I look?” led by Heather Brewer. This session, focusing on body image, will help participants learn how to improve their body image through a better understanding of media literacy (how to interpret all the images of women’s bodies in the media), and by emphasizing their own positive physical attributes and by raising awareness that their most important attributes are not related to how they look.  This interactive session will include group discussion and fun activities.

“Fitness 101” will be led by Amber Weaver. The fitness workshop will include several fitness stations with a focus on dynamic stretching, static stretching, and walking. The purpose is to make the campers more aware of the importance of stretching and exercise and how being physically fit affects other aspects of their lives.

Catherine Okafor, will lead “Speak Up!” Most people tend to shy away from public speaking. However, this skill can make a huge difference in how one expresses an opinion, presents a project, or delivers an introduction or a speech. This workshop will teach participants the fundamentals of public speaking by participating in activities such as debating, creative writing, and the dramatic arts. This session will also focus on leadership and teamwork.

“The Power of Positive Thinking,” led by Ashley Gardner, will address how thinking positively about the future can help one stay focused on reaching long-term goals. So, how does one think positively all the time? In this session, campers will make “vision boards” to help focus on how they want to reach their goals and how to keep their lives headed in the direction they have chosen.

Group leaders for the campers include Barton students: Anyya Street, Dengail Hines, Kathi Shaner, Charmayne Simpson, Taylor Myers, and Shabrika Jenkins.

Space is limited, and students who are nominated will be added to the participant list on a first received, first registered basis. Heather Brewer will contact the nominees to confirm their attendance and to share additional details for the day.


Questions?  Please contact Kathy Daughety, director of public relations, at 252-399-6529 or email: