From June 12 – 16, over 200 young women and 22 counselors gathered together for the 2017 Time to Blossom Conference, held at the East Valley Institute of Technology, for a week of uplifting, Christ-centered fun. The conference is designed to inspire and motivate LDS young women ages 11 – 16.
“Time to Blossom empowers young women with inner strength, courage, and confidence to reach their potential and find lasting happiness,” according to the organization’s mission statement. The conference, along with the accompanying website, MyTimeToBlossom.com, encourages girls to focus on inner and outer beauty, goal setting, and spiritual development, among other topics.
“Young women will know they are beautiful daughters of God, understand their self-worth, realize their divine mission, and discover their powerful potential to make a difference in the world.”
Headlining this year’s conference was Sister Elaine Dalton, former General Young Women’s President, a huge hit with the attendees. Also present with Sister Dalton was her daughter, Emi Edgley.
“They both radiate so much joy and love,” said conference organizers.
Other guest speakers included Hank Smith, EFY speaker and BYU religion professor, and motivational speaker Dr. Kris Heap.
Smith spoke to the girls about finding happiness under any circumstances.
“He always inspires us and makes us laugh until we cry,” Time to Blossom organizers said of Smith, “and we’re so grateful he could come to our conference again this year!”
Dr. Heap is a returning speaker at Time to Blossom. This year, in an artistic presentation, Heap remarked on how the words we speak of others and those that are spoken of us create a portrait we carry with us in our heads.
“I am always amazed at how much excitement for life these young people have,” Dr. Heap wrote in an Instagram post about the conference. “So glad I could try to inspire them to make a difference in their world.”
The girls also got to hear from a variety of presenters, ranging from makeup and calligraphy artists to personal trainers and from etiquette specialists to entrepreneurs. The Valley’s popular Jester’Z Improv Comedy Show was on hand with owner and producer Jef Rawls to provide some laughs.
Other activities included serving at Mesa’s Feed My Starving Children, a modest fashion show sponsored by DownEast Basics, a talent show, arts and crafts, and dance parties.
For Alexis Arias, a Time to Blossom blogger, the ultimate reward is seeing how the conference changes the girls’ lives.
When asked what inspired her about this year’s conference, she replied, “Hearing a young girl say, ‘I’ve always been told I’m a daughter of God, but this week I’ve felt it.’ Watching them identify unique character strengths in themselves and others. Witnessing their growth in just one week through meeting new friends, conducting and introducing speakers on stage, walking with confidence down the catwalk and team building activities.”
While next year’s dates have not yet been confirmed, the 2018 Time to Blossom Conference will be held in late June. Information will be at timetoblossom.com as it becomes available.