In the age of Photoshop, Snapchat filters, photo editing applications and an increased emphasis on body image, it is no surprise that adolescents are lacking in self-confidence due to societal pressures and expectations. Oftentimes, people chastise those who do not look a certain way or fit a certain mold to “fit in.” This creates unwanted and unwarranted stress, negative self-image and a depleted self-esteem in those who are effected. Whether they are dealing with body image, finding their place at school or simply working to better themselves, kids have their work cut out for them in our steadily evolving society. Sometimes, it is difficult to focus on attributes of value and high importance like self-esteem and self-worth.
It takes confidence to be a kid these days. From starting a new school to seeking out new friends, auditioning for the play or mustering up the strength to stand up for themselves in the face of adversity, kids’ self-esteem plays an integral part in their lives as they seek to find their place in this world. Luckily for Frisco parents, Esteem Kids is an up-and-coming organization that hopes to help kids successfully find their place.
At Esteem Kids, all children are accepted. It is a place where kids can get help with building their self-esteem and confidence. Esteem Kids’ core commitment lies in raising awareness while building confidence in kids so they are equipped to handle issues that may normally break confidence. The organization seeks to ensure that all children feel great about themselves. Creator and founder Teneisha Campbell explains, “We create events to give kids in your community an opportunity to help build confidence. Our mission is to love people with all images while partnering with families to help build confidence and character in kids for success.”
Mrs. Campbell is a wife, mother, entrepreneur, producer, designer and actress, who continually seeks to teach and guide her kids to have respect, confidence, character and self -esteem. (Mrs. Campbell’s 7-year-old son was bitten by the confidence bug and was featured on Huggies Little Swimmers, Nestlé® Pure Life® and MET-Rx®)! Mrs. Campbell loves spending quality time with her family and giving compliments to strangers to make them feel great about themselves.
Mrs. Campbell was born in the Caribbean Island of Trinidad and Tobago, where she learned that one’s environment does not define who one will become, once one has a positive role model. She says, “The idea for Esteem Kids came from my personal experience while touring as a talent scout across different states. I realized that a lot of kids I interviewed during the audition process were lacking self-esteem. At the time, my husband and I worked together, and I confided in him about my vision to help kids by building their confidence first. We both walked away from six-figure incomes and stepped out on faith to build Esteem Kids.”
Though Esteem Kids does not have a place to call home here in Frisco just yet, the organization seeks to reach kids through various events throughout the year that offer the opportunity to step outside of their comfort zone.
Participating parents Ray and Wendy Harmon clarify, “Esteem Kids is a fun, safe and creative format that allows kids and teens to build healthy self-esteem in a constructive and collaborative environment.” Parent Lisa Washington adds, “It is a great program for kids of all ages. It is not your typical type of club. It is very inclusive of all ethnicities, shapes and sizes. All kids are welcome.” Esteem Kids welcomes and offers opportunities to girls and boys that are between the ages of 5 to 17, celebrating all diversities and demographic levels. Mr. and Mrs. Harmon appreciate that Esteem Kids celebrates every child, regardless of age, ethnicity, socio-economic status or body type, stating that, “Esteem Kids has something of value to impart to every child.”
Esteem Kids events start with a workshop that helps kids get ready for their event. These confidence workshops cover topics such as leadership and interview skills, being authentic, breaking stereotypes, bullying and much more. Additionally, the workshops focus on helping kids build their confidence through eye contact, proper posture, performing on stage, posing for the camera and live interviewing. Esteem Kids have the opportunity to walk in their first fashion show and compete in a talent competition or confidence pageant. “The kids in your community will benefit from Esteem Kids, as they leave each event with tools that equip them to overcome fears and prepare them to stand strong in situations that might otherwise break their confidence,” Mrs. Campbell says. Of these confidence-building workshops, Mr. and Mrs. Harmon acknowledge the value of the time spent in the workshop. “One of the features we appreciate most about Esteem Kids is the small group discussions they have with kids who may be dealing with peer pressure, bullying, interpersonal conflict, etc. The adult leaders are always available to help kids and teens navigate challenges in a balanced and supportive environment,” they share.
Esteem Kids plans to have at least four major events each year. These events consistently attract audiences composed of families, community leaders, corporate executives, philanthropists, celebrities and donors. Mrs. Campbell explains, “We kicked off our Inaugural Esteem Kids Fashion Week this past June. It will be followed by the Esteem Kids Talent Competition, the Esteem Kids Confidence Pageant and the Esteem Kids Walk. These events are strategically planned to help raise funds to support classes that we hope to hold weekly, once we find a space to call home in Frisco!”
Esteem Kids’ talent competition prepares kids to perform a talent they might not ever share with anyone. Mrs. Campbell clarifies, “Our goal is to help kids participating in the talent competition to not be embarrassed about the talent they will perform. We help them build confidence to perform a passion they would have rather kept hidden because of fear and rejection.” The organization’s confidence pageant showcases kids based on their confidence and not appearance, which allows them to realize that their image should not limit their bravery. All of the kids participating in the pageant will have the opportunity to be themselves and not hide behind a mask of glitz and glamour. The pageant kids are encouraged to be natural and not alter their self-image. “We will also have an Esteem Kids Walk, where kids from all demographics will join hands and walk against bullying, peer pressure, stereotyping, trafficking of minors, racism and classism. This will teach our kids that when they stand together they can make a difference,” Mrs. Campbell says.
Parent Lolita Harris attributes Esteem Kids’ uniqueness, success and creativity to its refusal to be exclusive with the children able to participate. She says, “All children are welcome to be a part of this organization built on love, purpose and destiny for the lives of children who battle daily and are influenced by a world that desires to kill the dreams within them. Esteem Kids helps children realize who they are and empowers them to carry out what they are to do with their gifts and talents.”
In addition to the great events Esteem Kids hosts, they also have an Esteem Club, from which members will be given the tools to equip them for success by participating in ongoing classes. “We want to help kids be confident while discovering their talents, gifts and passion,” Mrs. Campbell says. The kids who attend Esteem Club will be able to apply the tools given to them in any area of their lives to help them become productive citizens. She adds, “We want our kids to pass the resources given to them from Esteem Club on to their families to create a legacy of esteem.”
The organization celebrates the participation and support of parents, without which the kids at Esteem Kids could not do it! Mrs. Campbell says that families can get involved with Esteem Kids by spreading the word about the organization to their extended families and friends. Additionally, parents can help by volunteering at events, working the registration stands, being chaperones and helping with other departments like design, marketing and concession stands. Esteem Kids parent Pamela Mathis explains, “Parents get the opportunity to learn the elements of producing an event, including roles and responsibilities. Parents also have the responsibility of preparing their child for the event by getting them to their workshops, fittings and event locations.” Ms. Washington also said there are opportunities for parents to partner alongside Esteem Kids by serving lunch, helping with hair or makeup, selling tickets and much more.
Now, more than ever, our kids need support to understand how much they matter, how important they are and that they have the capacity to be beautifully confident and have sky-high self-esteem. Organizations like Esteem Kids provide special places where kids can go, free of judgment or ridicule, to find themselves, while growing mentally and emotionally.
It is time to break the mold that has been cast as a definition of “perfection.” We can help our kids realize and appreciate just how wonderful they are, can be and will be.
The organization’s Facebook page is a wonderful resource for parents to help kids at home
to further build their self-esteem and confidence. For more information on Esteem Kids’ events, go to
esteemkids.com. For questions regarding events, volunteer opportunities or how to support the organization, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 903.702.5437.
The Inaugural Esteem Kids Fashion Week will be six straight days of fashion shows across Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex malls, and it will be the biggest fashion event for kids ages 5 to 17. Fashion Week is August 8-13. Esteem Kids will celebrate retailers like JC Penney, Dillard’s, Buckle, Gap, Charlotte Russe, Altar’d State, PacSun, Wet Seal and Gymboree that support their vision by willingly lending clothes for the fashion shows. If you have interest in becoming a 2016 Esteem Kids Fashion Week participant or sponsor, please contact the group today!