Fine arts graduate Ruth Lewis-Jones has used the power of design to create change and provide direction, meaning and hope in girls’ lives with The Esteem Designz Program.

A young Australian woman, heartbroken by seeing girls in her youth group succumb to relentless media pressure and peer expectation, has created a program that empowers girls to know their identity, be confident in it, and develop social and emotional skills to help them flourish in life.

With the Esteem Designz Program, fine arts graduate Ruth Lewis-Jones has used the power of design to create change and provide direction, meaning and hope in girls’ lives.

She said, “Girls in our community are facing ever-increasing pressures and confronting issues, such as messages of perfection through the media, constant comparison, peer pressure, unrealistic expectations, and not being confident or knowing who they are.”

Low self-esteem has been associated with a number of psychological, physical and social consequences that may influence girls’ successful adolescent development and the transition to adulthood. They include depression, anxiety, suicide and disordered eating, violent behaviour, earlier initiation of sexual activity (and consequently disease and pregnancy) and substance use.

For those passionate about empowering girls, Esteem Designz Program provides a comprehensive resource designed to gently take girls through a journey of self-exploration and empowerment, utilising the creative process as a joyful, uplifting and transforming experience.

Each stage of the program provides another coping strategy and an opportunity for girls to discover more about themselves. Esteem Designz aims to provide fun, interactive and meaningful design projects and activities to engage, equip and empower girls to create value, confidence, worth and self-respect.

It has been used within schools, churches, youth and community based organisations to reinforce resilience, social and emotional skills and promote a positive self-image.