Over 350 Transition Year girls packed out the first ever Rise 2018 event, to celebrate International Day of the Girl.

Carrickpherish Library in Waterford was the location for the event, in conjunction with Beat, the Shona Project, Waterford Libraries, and Always.

A panel of inspirational speakers discussed topics from mental health, sexuality and body image in the digital age to bullying, self-belief and ambition.

Singer Stephanie Rainey, who performed at today’s event, was asked about the importance of initiatives like ‘Rise Heroes’:

“I think it is important just to take the girls aside and really really stress certain things with them.

“There are a lot of issues that they face like body consciousness and having to be a certain way, look a certain way, dress a certain way.

Gabrielle Cummins BEAT 102 103, Tammy Darcy of The Shona Project and Loretta Kinsella Waterford Library. Picture: Patrick Browne.

“So I think it is great to just take them aside and say ‘today is about all of you’ and it’s about you feeling good and just being able to own yourself.

“Especially after being here today, I’m so proud to have been a part of it.”

Journalist Caroline Foran, author of ‘Owning It’ and ‘The Confidence Kit’ was also in attendance.

RISE:2018 at Carrickpherish Library, Waterford city where 350 Transition Year girls from Waterford heard from inspirational role models including best selling author Caroline Foran. Picture: Patrick Browne.

She said that coming together and honouring young women is ‘essential’:

“It’s really really hard to be a young girl in this day and age so just having 200 young girls in a room who are able to put up their hand and say ‘I feel like that as well’ is incredible.

“When you hear other people talk about their problems, it gives us permission to be able to talk about our own problems as well.”

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