Empower Girls Tell Your Story: Verizon #PlayLikeaGirl #FiOSFootballGirl

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This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Verizon. The opinions and text are all mine.

In today’s world you need to be able to be versatile & have agility, even speed because things can change really fast. My oldest daughter wanted to play hardball with the boys. She tried out like anyone else & made the team playing for three years until high school with her brother. I’ve always encouraged my 5 kids to play team sports, especially my girls.There are so many lessons learned in sports.To be a team player, listening skills, patience, caring for your body & strengthening it, problem solving, thinking outside the box, courage of working through defeat & more.

But, this story isn’t just about all that.

This story is about Jenni who at 3 years old but wanted to play so badly & couldn’t. We decided to take her to a local dance school & see if she liked ballet to occupy her time & give her a sport of her own. She loved it. Of course she was adorable, the performances cute & fun. Flash forward 13 years, those fun dance lessons turned into a passion with serious training. Endless driving to lessons & waiting on my part along with the help of other family members. Before we knew it Jenni was auditioning to dance at SF Ballet Summer School sessions. Later auditioning & getting a scholarship to dance in Philadelphia.

I never dream t her sport, ballet dance would take her into a career. She was blossoming into a young prima ballerina. At age 16 she was doing a homeschool program & living across the United States over 2500+miles from home. Training 8 hours a day. Weekends off for homework, rest & an occasional planned trip to NYC. Then she performed her first professional role in the Philadelphia nutcracker as one of the Chinese Girl Characters that comes out with the boxes. After years & years of watching her in role after role in the nutcracker & other ballets she had advanced to the professional stage.

Things were looking amazing! That is, until she had a sports injury.Damage to her foot would never allow her to dance as a professional any more.Image the heartbreak to her. Her dreams of being so close to what she had worked for over 15 years. She came home to CA within a few months of her injury.

Yes, she was devastated at first, but once her foot healed she then started to focus on healing her heart & finding a new passion. Refocusing, changing her game plan, thinking outside the box. Her sport had taught her to push & to never to give up.

The girls in dance do their own hair & make-up for practices & performances. Jenni was drawn to cosmetology. She applied to cosmetology school & continued to work on her recovery as a dancer. A local dance teacher who taught her found out what happened & contacted Jenni. They needed a teacher to help with training young ballerinas. Jenni jumped at the chance to help girls with the same dreams she had & taught classes while she finished her degree.

You know I couldn’t be prouder. From the day she stood on the stage or today when she has picked herself up & started all over again in her new professional career specializing in wedding hair & make-up.

Now her youngest sister, Sammie is discovering sports. Sammie has completed her swim levels all the way up to being able to take JR life guard training. She’s interested in swim team & learning to surf. No matter what sport Sammie ends up playing I’ll be there to support her. The lessons learned from sports give girls the same skill sets boys have, to take their life in their hands every step of the way!

Have you seen the Verizon #FiOSFootballGirl  video ? Verizon FiOS #Playlikeagirl contest is encouraging you to share your proudest moment of your daughter’s athletic achievements.

How can sports help young women feel empowered? Comments submitted may be displayed on other websites owned by the sponsoring brand.

Verizon FiOS gives your family the connection and speed you need to play with the big boys. Share your proudest moment of your daughter’s athletic achievements at www.verizon.com/playlikeagirl. You could be chosen to win a grand prize valued at $5,000!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Verizon. The opinions and text are all mine.

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