‘Ladies Lunch’ full of ‘positivity, girl power’ for high school students

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Monthly program seeking donations to help offset expenses

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  • LAURIE NORRELL (left) and Pam Crenwelge created the “Ladies Lunch” program at Ozona High School. Each month high school girls are invited to attend programs that talk about health, bullying and life skills, all while creating a “girl-friendly” culture. MELISSA PERNER | THE OZONA STOCKMAN
    LAURIE NORRELL (left) and Pam Crenwelge created the “Ladies Lunch” program at Ozona High School. Each month high school girls are invited to attend programs that talk about health, bullying and life skills, all while creating a “girl-friendly” culture. MELISSA PERNER | THE OZONA STOCKMAN
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A program full of “positivity and girl power” is why Ozona High School Junior Reagan Barrera looks forward to “Ladies Lunch” each month.

“We have fun,” Barrera said.

Laurie Norrell and Pam Crenwelge started the program last year at Ozona High School. Norrell, who teaches history at OHS, and Crenwelge want the nearly 80 high school girls who attend to gain confidence in themselves and become independent and strong young women.

“It’s all about empowering and creating a girl friendly culture. We want them to learn about personal boundaries and that they don’t have to live up to society’s standards,” Crenwelge said.

Norrell said the idea for the program came to her when she compared clothing between her daughter and youngest son. She saw that even as toddlers, girls’ athletic shorts were shorter than the boys.

She said that struck her that “what society is teaching our girls at a young age is not what we want them to be.”

Last year, Crenwelge and Norrell started the once a month program at OHS. All girls in ninth-12th grade are invited to attend.

“We don’t turn anyone away,” Norrell said.

At the lunch, Norrell and Crenwelge give a presentation or talk about topics that relate to young women.

Some of the topics include talking about female health for Women’s Health Month in October, learning how to change a tire and check the oil on a vehicle, discussing sexting and sex trafficking and even basic etiquette.

Plans for this school year include bringing in a self-defense instructor for a twoday class.

“We want them to be self-sufficient and independent. We want them to be able to depend on themselves,” Norrell said. “We create an environment to openly talk about these issues.”

The program is not school-sponsored and most of the costs for the lunches, speakers and programs have come out of the two leaders’ pockets. With the program growing, Crenwelge and Norrell are asking for donations to help offset the expenses.

Some of the expenses include meals, door prizes, cost to bring in speakers and the goal of having an end of the year banquet for all the girls.

Crenwelge said the costs can be around $200-$400 just for the monthly meals.

“This is a passion project for us. We are just two individuals that want to help,” Crenwelge said. “We are committed to this. We love these girls. We want them to see in themselves what we see in them.”

The next “Ladies Lunch” will be Oct. 22. Anyone wanting to donate to the program can drop off monetary donations at the CCCCSD Administration Building or the OHS Office. Make sure the envelopes are marked “Ladies Lunch.”