The Ivy Girl Academy is a leadership training program for teenage girls in South Jordan, Utah, and it culminates with a pageant that's a little different from the typical kind of beauty contest. At the Ivy Girl pageants, the contestants showcase leadership skills that they've developed over the course of their time with the Academy. Leading up to the pageant is a four-month intensive program consisting of 30 hours of service, character-building challenges, and mentorship of younger Ivy Girls through community clubs.
"We want girls to certify in leadership from the Ivy Girl Academy," says founder Jessie Funk.
The focus of the Ivy Girl Academy is growth and the cultivation of confidence and leadership skills. Only when they've completed the four-month program do the Ivy Girl contestants get to show off what they've learned in a big, fun pageant.
Picture it. Having been dropped off on the red carpet in a limousine after having their hair and makeup done by professionals, 23 confident, dynamic Utah ladies vie for the crown, the title of Ivy Girl 2017, and a service scholarship! They get to feel like royalty when they strut across the stage and receive their leadership certification in front of their biggest supporters.
The program and its celebratory pageant is helping empower girls to become strong, brave, resilient and service-oriented leaders—and that's what should be celebrated most.
In this video, we meet one special contestant. 17 year old Kylee has faced major adversity in her life. At the age of 7, Kylee lost her father to cancer and hemophilia. Her mother struggled in the wake of her father's death, so Kylee moved between homes, until she was taken in by her aunt. Several years later, that same aunt told Kylee about Ivy Girl Academy, and Kylee knew right away that she wanted to join.
"I like helping people," the young aspiring leader explains. Kylee chose hemophilia as her platform during her leadership training, given the impact that the condition has had on her life. As for her goals for the Ivy Girl Academy, Kylee says that "winning wouldn't mean getting the crown. It would mean just doing the best that I can."
Kylee believes that with Ivy Girl Academy, she can and will make a difference in the world—and that alone proves how grateful we all should be for the Ivy Girl Academy.
The 12 Levels of Ladyhood1. Confidence:
Happiness requires a foundation of confidence.
Discover your inner leader- everyone has one!
3. The Art of Gratitude:
Classy ladies are gracious and show gratitude.
We are worth protecting.
5. Dining & Social Etiquette:
Learning the art of caring for and about others
Looking for happiness? Serve someone!
Valuing and appreciating our bodies enough to take care of them through exercise and nutrition.
Preparing for the beautiful opportunity of motherhood- if chosen.
9. Positive Mental Attitude:
Understanding the science behind the power of a positive attitude vs. a negative one.
10. Personal Power:
Owning our lives by not making excuses, not putting ourselves down, standing up for our friends, not placing blame, and avoiding toxic relationships.
When we are put together on the outside, we can be more confident on the inside.
12. Goal setting:
Living our lives with purpose and passion
This HooplaHa original video was produced by Lucia Nazzaro, shot by Juston Rindlesbach, and edited by Kellie Sieban. For more inspiring stories, follow us on Facebook and sign up for our Only Good News Newsletter.