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Camp with Idina Menzel and Taye Diggs

For young girls, building self-esteem can be difficult. Young girls and teens are constantly bombarded with images and messages about what they should be or what they should look like, which causes them to feel uncomfortable in their own skin.

According to statistics, seven in ten girls grow up believing they are not good enough or do not measure up to societal standards. This is why a non-profit called (ABW) was created. The foundation helps girls to become more confident and comfortable in their own skin.

As the website states, “The ABW program is a way of looking at the world, a widening of individual horizons. Through Camp BroaderWay, and its arts-related activities, the girls learn to empower themselves by training their voices to be heard, not just on the stage of a theater, but throughout the world, focusing their imaginations to visualize new pathways to fulfill their aspirations and become leaders in the community at large.”

In 2010, Idina Menzel and Taye Diggs created the foundation in order to support girls from urban communities. The foundation creates a safe, camp-like experience allowing these girls to express themselves, build self-esteem, and develop leadership skills.

On their website, Menzel and Diggs both share a little about their inspiration for creating the foundation. Menzel shared that when she was younger she “would wait all year in anticipation of those summer months when it was time to go away to sleep-away camp. The experience was invaluable, as I formed lifelong friendships, learned how to live with others, build my self-esteem, and be a leader.”

Diggs shared a similar story, saying, “I was small, insecure and didn’t have a real community of friends outside of my family. All this changed when my mother encouraged me to enroll in a performing arts school. My life was transformed permanently. I was surrounded by students with similar interests, and I finally had a peer group to call my own.”

Camp BroaderWay is a program created to allow girls to experience what it is like to go to camp. They provide traditional camp activities like swimming, rock climbing, and campfires. They also provide a chance for these girls to participate in electives like painting, sign language, storyboard, spoken word, acting, choreography, photography, Playbill, digital scrapbook, and sculpting in the hopes that they might find their niche or a healthy outlet.

According to their website, “All Camp BroaderWay classes are taught by acclaimed Broadway professionals and Simon’s Rock faculty members, who are experts in their fields. Well-trained counselors and group leaders assist the girls in their activities and socialization.”

The ABW Foundation also provides school year programs including trips to Broadway shows, dance classes, and art events. The foundation keeps up with former campers who have graduated from the four-year camper program with a program called Graduate Programming. ABW graduates “have their own school year programming which includes participation in financial literacy courses taught by PricewaterhouseCoopers professionals as part of their Earn Your Future Initiative.”

To get involved with ABW Foundation, you can donate to help fund the camp and ongoing foundation programs and activities or become a sponsor.

Visit the website to learn more about this charity and how you can get involved!

Featured Image by Disney ABC Television Group on Flickr

Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-ND 2.0)

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