By Alba Ibarra

Girls ruled at Valleydale Park in Azusa recently, as approximately 60 girls between the ages of 8 and 17 gathered for an all-girls empowerment conference.

Participants from after-school, cheer and lacrosse programs were treated to an event where they heard testimonies from successful women whose dreams became a reality through hard work and perseverance.

Los Angeles County First District Supervisor Hilda L. Solis and Department of Parks and Recreation Chief Deputy Director Norma E. Garcia were part of the impressive panel of speakers.

At the event, Supervisor Solis greeted the girls and told them she hoped they would feel empowered to reach for the stars by the end of the program. Topics at the conference included striving for a successful future, overcoming obstacles, attending college and giving back to the community. 

Guest speakers of different backgrounds spoke about their paths to success, and girls related to the stories they heard. There were even tears among some girls, which made the event even more meaningful and personal.

When asked about her favorite part of the event, Bella Hernandez – the youngest attendant – did not hesitate to say: “When the speakers started talking about what was going on in their lives.”

Hearing the struggles of the speakers, and how they overcame them, and knowing that they still achieved success, left a lasting impression on the girls.