Zantonia Jones, 11, got a pink polish manicure with just a hint of baby blue accent, a little group exercise and a dose of self confidence Saturday at a back-to-school bash for girls and their mothers in Lexington.
At the program, called Molding of Generation Divas, Zantonia, who attends Lexington Traditional Middle School, said she learned "how to keep our face clean, how to make ourselves beautiful and have good confidence ... and just how to be a young lady."
She and her mother, Cherie Jones, were among 13 mothers and 39 girls ages 10 to 17 who attended the event at the Lexington Public Library downtown. The event was sponsored by the Sisters Road to Freedom, a non-profit that provides services to women.
The organization's founder and director, Therese Warrick, said she developed the event to help participants develop healthy bodies and minds. "Unhealthy eating habits and lack of physical activities are affecting the behavior and social growth of our teen girls," Warrick said.
Professionals at the event held sessions on physical activities, nutrition, etiquette, and skin and hair care.
Hair stylist Kahndra Franklin of Lexington's TKO Hair Studio told the girls, "Don't be lazy with your hair ... be consistent in your care. As much you as you brush your teeth, you need to wash your face."
The program was free and open to women and girls and Central Kentucky. The day ended with each girl getting a book bag full of school supplies.
"I thought it would be a good program for my 13-year-old," said Jackie Graves. "It has been awesome."
Graves said she was glad lessons on etiquette at the dining table were offered. Her daughter Janae Stevenson, 13, was looking for pointers on another front.
"I would like to keep my hair looking good even though I play sports," said Janae, who attends Leestown Middle School.
Melinda Diallo, who lives in Woodford County, said she brought her daughters Jalinda Fead, 15, and Jada Pertee, 10, so they could hear from someone other than her about good nutrition and hair care.
"I learned that I needed to take good care of my body in order to stay healthy," Jada said.
Valarie Honeycutt Spears: (859) 231-3409. Twitter:@vhspears