GRAND RAPIDS, Mich (WOTV) – If you could go back, what would you tell yourself in middle school? Empowering mind, body, and soul is what Maranda’s Beautiful U is all about! 140 seventh and eighth grade girls from five school districts across West Michigan came together for an afternoon of fun and education.

The event took place at Ferris State University‘s Grand Rapids campus. Girls got to learn about the amazing STEAM majors available at Ferris State. From nuclear medicine to engineering, nothing is out of reach!

To help the girls feel their best, the staff from Douglas J. Aveda joined the event to teach these girls how to sparkle from the inside-out. Makeup and hair styling demonstrations were mixed with advice from the stylists, who would tell their middle school selves that “it gets better”.

Dr. Carolyn King from Pine Rest shared amazing messages of hope and empowerment to the girls at Beautiful U. Dr. King’s energy is unmatched, and she uses her personal experiences to relate to the girls. She explained that growing up in a diverse way herself, she wants to show young women that it is possible to reach their dreams. In addition, Dr. King told girls to embrace themselves, and, like a diamond, all of us have flaws but that’s what makes us shine!

An exciting part of Beautiful U is the tasty food and snacks! Secchia Institute for Culinary Education, Meijer, and Milk Means More partnered up to educate girls on what they need to fuel their bodies. Calcium and protein are extremely important for girls in the developmental teen and pre-teen years. With snacks like yogurt and cheese, girls got a healthy (and yummy) boost of nutrients they need.

Beautiful U had girls out of their seats and cheering when it came time for the high-energy fashion show from Pure Passion for Fashion (P2). P2 is a program from Wedgwood Christian Services that’s run by teens, who deliver the messages of good choices and healthy relationships. The fashion show demonstrated that fashionable clothing can be modest.

Finish this sentence: I am…. After Beautiful U, participants filled the board with words like ‘Powerful’, ‘Intelligent’, and ‘Capable’. It’s amazing to see the empowerment these girls received! Girls learned that they can be who they are in life and “it’s ok to not be ok”.