Meet Rebecca Eli, School Teacher, School Counsellor/Wellbeing Coordinator, and Founder of Girl Empowered. Rebecca is based in a remote mining town in South Australia, Australia. She is a school teacher, qualified personal trainer, yoga instructor, School Counsellor/Wellbeing Coordinator and has worked in schools across the state of South Australia for 16 years. She launched Girl Empowered to create a social enterprise that promotes the sustained empowerment of Girls physically, socially, economically, and psychologically. Along with founding Girl Empowered, Rebecca still works three days a week as a school teacher while she continues to build Girl Empowered and launch her flagship program Powerful Me.
Tell us a little about Girl Empowered. What called you to launch Girl Empowered?
The concept of Girl Empowered had really been circling in my head (and heart) for a year or so but I didn’t really have an idea of what it would look like. Empowering girls and inspiring them to be the best versions of themselves has always been something that inspires me in return, and is one of the most enjoyable parts of my career as a teacher and school counsellor. So the concept of Girl Empowered was really a culmination of my years of working in schools combined with the recent yoga studies I have completed. It really is a blend of sensible school and self awareness for tweens and teens.
What is the biggest lesson you learned in launching Girl Empowered?
Feel the fear and do it anyway. I held off on launching Girl Empowered for a while because really the self doubt and fear was overwhelming. It felt too big and the doubts were too strong. But I got to a point where I couldn’t ignore the pull at my heart any longer and I launched it. It was a low tech, low budget launch in the shape of a FB page and video which I shared on my personal page also. The video went crazy with over 11,000 views and messages from friends but also people I didn’t know who also felt so strongly about the message. This is a lesson I use when I create something new or launch a new offering, I still feel fear and doubts, but I do it anyway!
What are some of your biggest successes you have experienced since launching Girl Empowered?
Girl Empowered is still in it’s infancy but already I’ve had some great success. Hearing from parents the positive impact Girl Empowered has had not only for their daughter but also their relationship with their daughter has been positive.
Given too that I launched Powerful Me, the Flagship course from Girl Empowered only three months after I announced Girl Empowered was also a huge success. Topped off by reaching my target for course sign ups was also a success.
I am also in the early stages of writing a similar course aimed more at teens, so that too is a success because I didn’t have that planned when I initially launched Girl Empowered.
You recently launched your course Powerful Me, the flagship offering of Girl Empowered. What are some of the goals of the course and what would you like others to take away from it?
Powerful Me is a self awareness and self development program for tweens. The course content is designed to be delivered over six weeks to the parent with content relevant and aimed at the daughter but gives lifetime access. Each week contains videos for the daughter, information for the parents along with links to other resources. The course covers topics such as understanding strengths, emotional intelligence, understanding courage and communication skills. It is really designed to support tweens transition into the turbulent teen years with skills and understanding to help them navigate the dynamics of friendships which teens (and parents of teens) find are everchanging and challenging.
Along with running Girl Empowered, you’re a school teacher, School Counsellor/Wellbeing coordinator and a mother of three! How do you find a healthy balance with a busy schedule?
I am a school teacher presently and previously worked officially as a school wellbeing coordinator. Last year when Girl Empowered wasn’t yet conceived, I felt the pull to make some changes in my working life to free up more space for my own children but also to allow what is now Girl Empowered to emerge. So at the beginning of 2017 I reduced from full time teaching to three days per week. This has allowed the space to create Girl Empowered but also to find that very delicate work life balance for four of the most important people in my life, my three beautiful kids aged 8, 7 and 4, plus my husband.
What advice would you give to other women who are pursuing their passions?
Do it! You’ll feel fear, you’ll have doubts and others will tell you it’s not possible. Surround yourself with honest supporters and invest in yourself, whether that is time or training. Your message is important and to deliver it you need to be in your best shape, physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.
What is your personal or professional motto and how do you apply it to your life?
“You have everything inside of you that you need.”
Whenever I doubt my experience, knowledge, expertise or am unsure about my next professional move, I go within, asking others is not my first option, I meditate, journal or pay particularly close attention to subtle signs and synchronicities I notice in my daily life. It sounds a little woo-woo but I totally believe that we have and are, all that we need.
My yoga practice has really strengthened my ability to meditate and stay centered but I work at it daily. I also work constantly with my mindset which was a huge challenge during the launch of Girl Empowered, but I really found keeping myself grounded and centered supported me during this time.
Keeping this self-focus balanced with positive, supportive friends and colleagues and working on maintaining my connection to my children and husband is also important. Without those connections, I am out of balance so fostering these relationships is important in keeping a real connection to myself.