“…we need more focus on fostering young people’s wellbeing at school…”
– Ministry of Education, 2017
Our work is based on four key pillars of wellbeing which is in alignment with the four pillars of Hauora.
We facilitate the development of positive, healthy relationships, with self and with peers. We also teach conflict resolution skills, discuss healthy relationship indicators, and facilitate meaningful peer affirmation activities.
Enlighten days (and our core workshop in particular) encourage girls to see themselves as a somebody, not just a body. We teach the girls how to respect their bodies and connect with their personal power.
We teach girls how to think, not what to think. We teach stress management strategies, the value of being in touch with their thoughts and emotions, and the value of keeping their emotional ‘tanks’ full.
We encourage girls to look at ways in which they can give to others, and be forces for good in their communities. We encourage a reconnection with their inner voice and personal expression.
Rangi Ruru Girls’ School
“Please keep doing what you are doing – this is the best workshop I have ever been to! You are the best speaker I have ever heard. I have walked out of this lesson feeling really good about myself. You showed me that I am worth it and I can believe in myself.” – Phoebe, Year 9 student.
“You have been one of the best speakers we have ever had, super relatable, funny, kind and friendly! My favourite part was the last part about how your own negative thoughts can affect how you outwardly appear and I loved the circle of compliments as well! They made me think harder about myself and my doubts – it resonated the most for me! I learnt today to be comfortable in my own skin, that I can control how situations with friends end up, that we have a lot in common with others and that we have to support each other.” – Annabelle, Year 9 student.
“The students were open and engaged, confidently offering ideas and questions. The presentations were informative and based upon relevant research.” – Leigh Allan, Health Co-ordinator, Rangi Ruru Girls’ School
St Margaret’s College
“The workshops today were not excellent – they were amazing! ‘Love the Skin You’re In’ was my favourite as I felt that I learnt the most in that one. Today also showed me that gratitude is important and we need to take time out for ourselves and love ourselves.” – Zoe, Year 7 student.
“The best part of today was learning to love myself! I now know to love myself, to be kind, that girls can change the world, to be comfortable in my skin and to stay calm. I think everyone should do this program!” – Anjali, Year 7 student.
“From the sessions I observed and from the follow-up discussion with the girls, I feel this was an excellent program to be involved with. The presenters were passionate, engaging and appealing, and their relevant yet down-to-earth approach enabled a fantastic impact at both year levels. The girls’ feedback says it all!” – Chris Wyeth, Associate Principal.
“You honestly are incredible! 1000% YES I would recommend this programme to other students!” – Bailey
“I honestly love what you are doing and that you are spreading positivity everywhere you go! Keep doing what you are doing! Kia kaha, kia manawanui!” – Ariana
“My favourite part was relating and communicating with all the girls in my year and making the journals.” – Shaunique
“I am precious, I am grateful, I love myself, we are loved, and we are beautiful.” –Nola
“Amazing. Best day of my life so far. Everything was inspirational – to accept yourself for who you are and creating the diaries was really fun.” Student
“I just want to say thank you.” – Osheyana
“My favourite thing today was learning to love myself no matter what.” – Student
“My favourite part of the day was when we learnt that we are all beautiful in different ways.” – Zainab
“I learned how to relax myself when stressed and that your body is good enough.” – Brooke
“What a great day we had with the Enlighten team recently with our Year 6 girls. The presenter, Allyson, was such a positive and fun person to take the girls through their journey. From the moment the girls walked into the hall, they were hooked in, and stayed like that for the rest of the day. I was so moved with the girls’ comments in their evaluations at the end, it showed they got so much out of the program. I will definitely be pushing to have Vicky and her team back next year.” – Sheryl Hodson, Senior Teacher, Papatoetoe East Primary School
Enlighten will support any parent who would like us to visit their school. Contact Vicky directly and give her the name of the school and a person to speak to who will have the authority to greenlight an Enlighten day at your school.
We embrace our gorgeous rainbow students and ensure that all our students feel they are valued and safe to speak their mind. If there is anything they are concerned about we encourage them to speak to us directly.
At Enlighten we have been working hard to connect sponsors with schools that may not be able to pay all of the cost. Let us know where you are and we will have a chat about sponsorship.
We would love to and plan to in the near future so let us know which area you are in and we will let you know when we are going to hold our first one in your area.
meet the team
Vicky Pond Dunlop (She/Her)
Enlighten Education NZ Program Director
Vicky has worked in both the business and education sectors, developing leadership capability and coaching to develop personal mastery in her clients. Her work with young women started while being a substitute parent for a few young women who were struggling in their relationship with their parents and needed a place to recalibrate, as well as the wealth of knowledge gained from being a mother of two girls. She has recently completed academic research on the influence of secondary school on young women’s aspirations to be leaders, gaining a Dean’s Award for excellence for her Master’s thesis.
Vicky is an International Coach Federation (ICF) certified transformative coach. She continues to seek opportunities to support others to develop strategies to reach their goals. She has a BA in Education and Media, Master of Educational Leadership and a Graduate Diploma in Psychology, which fuelled her interest in how young women are influenced by their social groups, and societal expectations. Vicky is sublimely stoked to bring Enlighten to New Zealand schools!
Allyson Miller (She/Her)
Enlighten Education NZ Presenter
Allyson attended Brigham Young University studying human development, and later gained a Master of Applied Social Work. She began her career as an educator and youth support worker in the U.S., going on to do study and volunteer work as an educator in Tonga. From there Allyson joined the Peace Corps in Samoa, organising and implementing (GLOW) conferences for young women. After moving to NZ, Allyson worked as an advocate for our homeless population and more recently for women and children. Allyson is also a proud mother of two gorgeous girls.
Allyson brings her love of supporting and developing girls and women to her role as presenter with Enlighten. She loves using humour and connection to support young women to build their confidence, overcome challenges, and follow their dreams. “I have a passion for empowering women and advocating for children. I believe that by empowering young women with the tools hey need to take their rightful place in society, we can truly change the world!”
STEPHANIE SHARP (She/Her)
Enlighten Education NZ Presenter
Steph brings her love of being in front of an audience to her work with Enlighten. As well as being an experienced actor, she is a qualified and experienced makeup artist and hairstylist, and a popular tutor, having worked for major companies such as NZ Opera and the Royal NZ Ballet, as well as in films and television, music videos and special events. After Steph qualified as a professional actress for stage and screen, she worked on many productions across Auckland, including being a founding performer at children’s entertainment venue Whoa Studios.
Having studied A-level psychology at high school, an interest in developmental psychology followed. This, paired with her own past life experiences (such as body image, career choice, and confidence), has inspired her to work with young girls and women through Enlighten Education. Steph believes it is a true joy to work with the next generation, and the unique culture that is built within Enlighten workshops means that both student and presenter leave feeling inspired and educated by one another.
resources & media
THE BURDEN OF SHAME FOR TEENAGE GIRLS
I recently started to watch the Britney Spears documentary — ‘Framing Britney Spears’ — which provides an account of her early career and life as a young person navigating fame. I felt a deep sense of shock and sadness for what she endured in the early part of her career. The predatory behaviour of older adult males around her made me squirm. She was so often blamed and shamed for what she wore, who she dated or broke up with, even her mothering had the scrutiny of the media and the general public.
MIRROR, MIRROR: THE POWER OF ROLE MODELS FOR GIRLS
At school I was never pegged to be an academic. It was my older sister who showed me a door to freedom of thought and opportunity by attending university as an older adult. I watched her blossom, and she encouraged me to try, so I also attended university. Without getting those cues from my sister modeling the courage and tenacity to educate herself further, I would never have followed that path and reached a place that allows me to successfully navigate the path I have chosen to follow.
INSTAGRAM VS REALITY: HOW GIRLS CAN FEEL BODY CONFIDENT
By: Carly Gibbs, Bay of Plenty Times (reprinted for NZ Herald Premium online content)
Emily’s cheeks are “really chubby”, her lips “thin” and her chin and feet “weird”.
“There’s a lot of pressure to have certain facial features,” the 12-year-old says of how she looks, adding that it’s her weight that worries her the most.
“We need more representation of people who don’t look like Barbies. I wish that the world would view beauty like something that everyone has, not just certain people.”
The Tauranga girl, whose name has been changed to protect her privacy, says it’s common for her female peers to compare themselves with the seemingly real-life body-beautiful photos on television and social media and feel inferior.
It’s a problem that Enlighten Education New Zealand director Vicky Pond Dunlop is trying to fix.
BUILDING CONFIDENCE IN GIRLS
Radio Rhema Interview with Director of Enlighten Education NZ, Vicky Pond Dunlop.
Enlighten Education works with teen girls to develop self-esteem and confidence. Their programs are delivered to schools and are designed to help girls decode the mixed messages they receive. Vicky Pond Dunlop is the New Zealand Director and she joined Andrew on the show to talk about the work they do.
Youthline NZ’s excellent website on body image and how to manage expectations placed on teens from social media. Not having role models in the media to explore new ways of looking at healthy bodies, is an issue.
Need help with funding?
We are aware how the global pandemic has deeply affected your budgets. Enlighten Education NZ have been working on ways to provide you with sponsors who would be willing to support your school by sponsoring a full or half day program, fully or partially.
To request sponsorship
Please contact us if you would like to discuss the options available for sponsorship.Request Sponsorship
Want to support a school?
If you have a school in mind or would just like to support the work we are doing with teen girls across schools in Aotearoa, please consider sponsoring a program, a school, and/or building an ongoing relationship with Enlighten.
To become a sponsor
Please contact us if you are interested in sponsoring a school, a group of students, or even a single student.Become a sponsor