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Girl Expo offers lessons on living successful lives

September 15, 2008|By HEATHER KEELS

HAGERSTOWN - Good manners aren't the only things needed to be successful in life, Blossom School of Etiquette students learned over the weekend at a three-day workshop about careers, money management and choices for healthy living.

About a dozen local girls ages 6 to 13 participated in the school's first Girl Expo, which featured speakers discussing topics not covered in the etiquette school's curriculum, director Ladetra Robinson said.

Speakers at the event, held at the Grand Venice Hotel, included Herald-Mail Educational Services Coordinator Caitlin Kelch, Brothers United Who Dare to Care President Andy Smith, Hagerstown Police Officer Gerard Kendle and Safe Haven Director Jeannine Jackson.

"Everybody who spoke yesterday came to me later and said they couldn't believe how attentive the girls were," Robinson told the girls' parents at a closing reception Sunday. Some of the girls took such careful notes that it made the speakers nervous, Robinson said.

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"We were trying to figure out what we were trying to be when we grow up," said Micaela Fleetwood, 9, of Hagerstown, who was excited when a career aptitude quiz told her she might like an artistic career, such as fashion design.

Cheyanne Morgan, 11, of Hagerstown, said the girls also learned to be wary of strangers.

"We learned ... not to get in the car with someone who says they found your dog," she said.

The girls were especially attentive as Jackson talked about the choices they will face when it comes to drugs, alcohol and sex, Robinson said.

"She said that if you like smoke once or drink alcohol, then your brain cells disappear and they don't come back," said Aneka Moore, 11, of Hagerstown.

The event ended with a fashion show titled "Express Yourself," in which the girls modeled outfits from their own closets that reflected who they are.

From fancy dresses to school uniforms and gym clothes, the girls were all smiles as they showed off the clothes that represented their personalities and hobbies.

"That's one thing I try to teach in my etiquette class is 'express yourself,'" Robinson said.

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