GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD)- Now more than ever, our kids are facing negativity and issues with self-love and acceptance, body image, anxiety, concerns about what others think and a slew of other difficulties. Maranda’s Beautiful U 2023, which occurred on Tuesday, April 25, empowered 7th and 8th-grade students by focusing on beauty, kindness, respect, positivity and compassion. Back in person this year at Mary Free Bed YMCA, 150 middle school girls felt empowered, uplifted and had fun!

These students felt empowered as they listened to community leaders and peers offering insight and advice on some issues middle school girls experience today. They got moving by engaging in yoga and pump-up sessions. They were surprised with healthy fruit parfaits provided by Milk Means More and Meijer and enjoyed a pizza charcuterie board provided by Craig’s Cruisers. Toward the end of the event, students received a special journal featuring positive tips and words of encouragement. They also made a powerful statement with the word they added to Maranda’s “I Am” board.

We would like to say a special thanks to all of the partners that made this event possible. The YMCA of Greater Grand Rapids, Meijer, Fifth Third Bank, Priority Health, The DeVos Family Foundation, Ferris State University, KentCareer TechCenter, West Michigan Whitecaps, Battle Creek Community Foundation, Van Andel Institute, Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital, Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services, Wedgwood Christian Services, Air Zoo, Craigs Cruisers.