Girl power: Empowerment Project will teach skills |

Girl power: Empowerment Project will teach skills

Sara Thompson / Tahoe Daily Tribune

Two weeks ago, Michaela Martin, 12, and Samara Gonzalez, 13, spent two hours baking cookies and cupcakes so they could attend the Girls’ Empowerment Project this Friday.

The girls sold the baked goods at Lilly’s Tires and held a car wash to raise money for the registration fees. Samara said about 10 girls from the Boys & Girls Club of Lake Tahoe will be attending the event.

The South Lake Tahoe Women’s Center is putting on the event, which is meant to boost girls’ self-esteem before school starts, said Lisa Utzig Schafer of the women’s center.

Workshops at the event will include wilderness survival, cooking, leadership, crafting, fitness and self defense, Utzig Schafer said.

Michaela and Samara are looking forward to the self-defense class.

“Just in case something happens to you, you’ll be able to protect yourself,” Samara said.

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Inn By the Lake donated space for the event, and Soroptimist International of Tahoe Sierra also donated funds.

The instructors leading the workshops are women from the community, Utzig Schafer said.

For the fitness workshop, the girls will go through an obstacle course and learn about being strong and fit rather than skinny, Utzig Schafer said.

The Soroptimists are also providing volunteers to teach participants how to make fleece baby blankets, which will be donated to the Women’s Center shelter and the Best Beginnings program at Barton Health.

This will show the girls how even small gestures can help the community, Utzig Schafer said.

“It doesn’t take a lot to make the community a better place,” Utzig Schafer said.

Michaela is also looking forward to the cooking class because she likes to bake and cook.

Utzig Schafer’s goal is to put on the event every year before school starts.

“I want it to grow and change every year,” she said.

For girls in sixth through eighth grade.

9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday at Inn By the Lake, 3300 Lake Tahoe Blvd.

$20 and lunch is provided. Five scholarships are available.

Register at, or stop by the South Lake Tahoe Women’s Center at 2941 Lake Tahoe Blvd.