October 18, 2012
The Hance Family Foundation offered the inspiring "Beautiful
Me—the Emma, Alyson and Kate Hance Project" on Monday, October 1
and Tuesday, October 16 to women throughout campus, including all
Panhellenic and ALFSA sororities, women student athletes and the
general female student body.
Emma, Alyson and Kate were three young girls who were tragically
killed (along with their aunt and cousin, as well as those in the
other car) on the Taconic Parkway when their minivan drove into
oncoming traffic in July 2009. The mission of "Beautiful Me" is to
extend the knowledge and understanding that Emma, Alyson and Kate
possessed —being comfortable with who you are makes you a better
sister, daughter, friend and person.
As a unique and special component of the program, we were
privileged to have Warren Hance, father of Emma, Alyson and Kate,
speak to all who attended. As he reflected on his own personal
tragedy, he commented that his goal in life was no longer about
"surviving, but about living" — living a life of purpose.
As he spoke, his powerful message challenged St. John's women to be
active participants in the shaping of their own stories. He spoke
of how, although, the past may have shaped an individual, the
future is his or hers to create — and in doing so, his daughters'
memories will always live on.
"Beautiful Me" was a two-hour workshop for women taught by
educators and social workers who have been trained directly through
the Hance Family Foundation. Our St. John's students were engaged
in hands-on activities and thoughtful reflections aimed to increase
self-esteem, improve body awareness, develop coping skills and
improve problem-solving skills.
The program offered students many opportunities to engage in
conversation. One participant reflected, "There are not many times
that I am told to say 'I am beautiful.' Our group leader made us
say it with our eyes open, straight at her. Wow — it really made me
so much more confident in believing it."
For more information, please visit hancefamilyfoundation.org.