'Beautiful Me' workshop holds 5th St. Albert event for at-risk youth
The event helps 30 at-risk and vulnerable youth discover inner and outer beauty
Ten months after her twin sister's suicide Bailey Dunbar attended the "Beautiful Me" event in St. Albert.
Now, one year later, the event has opened up five more spots in the memory of her sister Morgan and Dunbar is back as a volunteer. She credits the previous years events with helping her deal with the trauma of losing her sister.
"It was kind of like a life-changing moment," said Dunbar. "It was the only time I could have anyone do my makeup and hair and actually feel pretty — throw on a dress and twirl and dance and not feel judged or anything."
The event, now in its fifth year, was hosted at the Bellerose Composite High School for 30 at-risk and vulnerable youth aged 13 to 19.
It describes itself as a confidence-building opportunity that allows the teens to work with makeup artists, hair stylists and encouragement teams.
Organizer Kristi Rouse said inspiration and motivation are key components to the project.
"We so often see youth come in that are shy and really needing a confidence boost," Rouse explained.
"So we hope that the activities we offer to them help them see that they have gifts they can share with their families, friends, and communities."
Natasha Dunbar, Morgan and Bailey's mother, said it is important to show teens their worth.
"I think a lot of teens that are bullied, that boost in self-confidence can help them walk with their head a little higher," said Natasha. "I think it would have helped [Morgan] a lot."
Rouse said this year's motivational theme was "defining your own value system," and added seeing the transformation that can occur in a youth's over the duration of the day makes it all worthwhile.
"It's a very uplifting experience to see so many youths impacted in a positive way," said Rouse.
"It makes all the planning and preparation worthwhile."