I often look back on my high school career and feel this ball of anxiety rise in my gut. It was a time I felt the most lost, the most unsure about myself and what my purpose was in life. I really think my school years, especially high school were lacking a degree of support and direction I craved, and needed.

High school, especially for young girls can be a daunting time. Not only are you at a pinnacle point in life where pressures to decide what you’re going to be one day culminate with the overwhelming pressure to be accepted and fit in. So may life choices, so many paths to consider. And without the right guidance, support and assistance it can very quickly feel as though you’re drowning in sea of voices.

When I reflect specifically on my Grade 10-12 years, I can’t help but feel as though I were robbed of these crucial and valuable years. I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life and lacked the confidence and motivation I needed to dream big and set goals for myself. A lot of my friends knew, or at least had a very good idea of what they wanted to study after school, which only made me feel more anxious and as though I had already failed, before I had even begun!

Soar! is a new book written by Despina Senatore which aims to help girls make sense of high school, career choices and more so, to help them come out the other side, more confident, knowing their self-worth and above all with a clear idea of their strengths, who they are and what they see for their futures.

A big chunk of this book is focused on different careers, giving first-hand accounts from students studying different degrees. It allows young girls a real-life glimpse into what can be expected in careers such Finance, Political Science, Optometry, Nursing, Marketing, Marine Science, Law, Medicine, Journalism and so so much more. It helps one gauge what kind of work they will be doing and if they feel they have what it takes to pursue it as a career.

Not only that, Soar’s main objective is to grow a generation of women filled with purpose, resilience and self-confidence. And as mother of a daughter, I cannot say how wonderful it is that something like this exists for teenage girls and how important it can be in shaping their futures and setting the trajectory for the rest of their lives.

Author of the book Despina Senatore, a South African mother of three young children, concerned for the youth of our country, developed and wrote Soar! which aims to build confidence and resilience in young girls, giving them the tools to make informed decisions about their futures. It also educates girls on 50 careers available to them through in-depth interviews with women who are pursuing them, links and guidelines on tertiary education, practical advice to prepare girls for ‘the real world’; and tips and exercises for developing potential.” 

This guidebook is crucial in the times we find ourselves in, particularly when considering the statistics: 

· One in four university students suffer from depression in South Africa according to the South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG). 

· Teenagers between the ages of 15 and 19 are most at risk for suicide. 

· Girls attempt suicide more than boys at a ratio of 3:1. 

· Various studies in the US show that by the time they get to university, girls are far more anxious, depressed and insecure than boys. Their need to be perfect and succeed is starting to become a mental wellness issue. 

· Through Senatore’s work, she’s realised that some youngsters are only aware of a handful of career choices. 

“Through instilling self-worth in girls in their teenage years and attempting to develop their full potential we can raise a generation of women who won’t have imposter syndrome or suffer from insecurities as much as we do,” commented Senatore.

It is available to purchase at Purposefulwoman for the low cost of 5 Starbucks cappuccinos – R150 (excluding courier fees). A small price to pay for a strong and confident future of a girl. 

For further information on Soar! or Despina Senatore, please visit her website. Order directly by emailing info@purposefulwoman.co.za or via WhatsApp/ message on 082 672 7800. Its also great to buy one for a young girl in your life – a niece, God daughter… anyone you would like to see SOAR!

Please note that a boy version of the guidebook will be available later this year. Can I hear an AMEN!!!

I could tell you so much more about what this book has to offer but, I think for those with teenage girls it would be best to read it for themselves. 🙂 There are so many pearls of wisdom and tools to really support young girls and a wonderful book to work through together at different stages of their high school careers.

I’m giving away Two books to two moms who would really like to add value to their daughter’s life in a meaningful way.

To win :

  1. Simply tag two friends on Facebook
  2. And follow Purposeful Woman on Facebook

Trams and conditions apply. This comp is in no way affiliated with Facebook or Instagram. Open to SA residents only.



Hi I’m Leigh! Did you enjoy reading this post? I really hope so and would love you to stick around a little longer! Please feel free to browse my blog for other articles or to keep up with all the latest news and to be the first to hear about some great competitions, come and find me me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. You can also email me directly at leeloobaggins@hotmail.com or simply subscribe below and never worry about missing out!
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