Girls Eagerly Maintaining High Standards

What is consent?

In a society filled with so many choices and developing relationships, it is extremely important to understand what consent actually means. We thought this topic was especially important to cover with our group of young ladies given the conversations within the media and various social circles.

They took what was learned and translated it into a display that exemplified what consent means to them. There was no particular guideline, other than to simply show the facts and be creative. We think they did an excellent job and we are pleased with the results. NO MEANS NO. YES MEANS YES!

Special Congratulations to our winner Thalia Fregoso (7th grade) from Conway’s Bob Courtway Middle School!

I now know more about my standards to set when going on a date. I know what rules I have and what I’ll do and what I won’t do.
— 10th Grader

Small groups, big discussions!

Girls Eagerly Maintaining High Standards (GEMS) is a program that encourages our young ladies to have confidence in who they are and live their life from a place of dignity. Teenage girls are pressured from every direction you can imagine, often creating unhealthy habits and skewed perspectives of themselves. Through field trips, weekend workshops, speakers, and celebratory ceremonies, our goal is to reinforce positivity and confidence while encouraging young women as they walk through their teenage years! Junior high girls, middle school and high school girls voluntatrily meet during their lunch. GEMS is an option at most schools where the Choosing to Excel cirriculum has been implemented.



grad picture jpg.jpg

I began my journey with Choosing to Excel by going to the summer camp they offered before my sixth grade year. That fall I attended G.E.M.S., and I was a part of Choosing to Excel until I graduated with highest honors from Conway High School in 2015. I then moved forward in my academic journey at the University of Central Arkansas. Through my sorority, I was given the opportunity to start volunteering for G.E.M.S. every Thursday, and I thoroughly enjoy it.  I graduated with honors from UCA in December 2018 with a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition, and I work in my field as a Clinical Diet Assistant at Conway Regional Health System. I learned to keep the end in mind and to be accountable for my actions through Choosing to Excel, and I am blessed to be able to impact young women and give back to an organization that helped me so much.