Nia and Girls Inc. of NW Oregon Collaborate to Offer Empowerment Program for Girls in the Portland Metro Area


Portland, Oregon – Friday, July 8, 2011 – Starting in August, participants of Girls Inc. of NW Oregon’s Girl Power Camp will be attending special Nia classes at StudioNia in downtown Portland at 918 SW Yamhill Street.

The Girl Power Camp for girls ages 12-14 takes place August 1-5 from 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM. The Girl Power Camp for girls ages 8-11 happens August 8-12 from 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM. The Nia sessions, which are being integrated as part of Girls Inc.’s Allies in Action curriculum, will be on Mondays and Thursdays both weeks from 1:00 – 3:00 PM.

Participants also spend a portion of each day engaging in games, teambuilding exercises, discussions, and activities such as skateboarding and sewing. All experiences are designed to inspire girls to be strong, smart and bold, and to improve confidence and self-esteem. Registration is open to girls who meet the age requirements mentioned above, and spaces remain in both camps. Families may register at or contact Jessica for more information at or 503.230.0054 x5.

This is the second time Nia and Girls Inc. of NW Oregon have collaborated to promote the health and wellness of Oregon’s youth. Jessica Abel, Program Director for Girls Inc. of NW Oregon, says, “The first time we took girls in our program to StudioNia, they were excited to move their bodies in a new way, and to relate their feelings to the movements and discussions about themselves. Some girls who were more reserved in the start of the class became more comfortable. I heard the comment that attending Nia class was the highlight of the girls' week.”

Nia teachers volunteering to lead the Monday and Thursday sessions include Yamuna Benedict, Allison Wright, Vickie Saito, Karri Winn, Andrea Bell, Caz Thomson and Beth Noelle.

Black Belt Certified Nia Teacher Karri Winn says, “As a lifelong member of Girl Scouts, I am inspired to support programs like Girls Inc. that create the conditions for positive psychological development, health and well-being for the next generation.”

Abel describes the need for programs like Girl Power Camp, saying, “Girls today face a number of issues, ranging from the impact of media and the portrayal of women in the media to bullying and relational aggression. Girls also face increasing pressure to perform in what we can see as ‘the supergirl dilemma’ – the idea that girls feel that they need to be perfect in all aspects of their lives.”

Those interested in learning more about how Girls Inc. supports girls may visit the organization's national website where fact sheets, resources and tips can be found. For information on adapting Nia for kids, please contact Nia Trainer Britta Von Tagen at

About Nia

Nia is a sensory-based movement practice that leads to health, wellness and fitness. It's offered in more than 45 countries and has approximately 2,500 teachers. Nia draws from disciplines of the martial arts, dance arts and healing arts. Classes are taken barefoot to soul-stirring music, and offer unique combinations of 52 moves that correspond with the main areas of the body: the base, the core and the upper extremities. Trainings collectively explore 52 principles for personal enrichment and professional development. Each belt in the Nia training series includes 50+ hours of education in the form of movement, interactive discussion and self-reflection sessions. Every experience can be adapted to individual needs and abilities.

About Girls Inc.

Girls Inc. of Northwest Oregon is an affiliate of the national nonprofit organization Girls Incorporated, the nation’s leading voice for girls. With roots dating to 1864 and national status since 1945, Girls Inc. has responded to the changing needs of girls through research-based programs and public education efforts that empower girls to understand, value, and assert their rights. In 2009, Girls Inc. reached nearly 800,000 girls through Girls Inc. affiliates, website, and educational publications. Since 1998, Girls Inc of Northwest Oregon has been at the forefront of implementing gender-specific programs for over 10,000 low-income and high-risk girls in the Portland Metro area.


Jessica Abel
Program Director, Girls Inc. of NW Oregon
503.230.0054 x5

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