From a simple service project has grown Time to Blossom, a community of sisterhood and support for young women throughout Arizona and across the United States. Time to Blossom was founded in 2008 by Carla Jorgensen and Debbie Forrest Dayton, who recognized that young women face incredible challenges and need to feel hope and courage in their complicated teen years.
Through summer conferences for girls ages 11-16, supported by ongoing blog posts that continue to teach and offer support, Time to Blossom “empowers young women with inner strength, courage, and confidence to reach their potential and find lasting happiness,” the website states.
During the week-long conferences, young women interact with one another and participate in hands-on activities to help them further discover “who they are, who they can become, what their goals can be, and how they can accomplish those goals.”
The Time to Blossom conferences focus on inner beauty, outer beauty, and leadership, as well as on how to apply the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
“After a week of being immersed in testimony-strengthening and uplifting classes and activities, young women will be improved, enlightened, and filled with excitement for what their future holds,” the website notes.
In order to keep participants engaged and to share the Time to Blossom messages with many other young women, MyTimetoBlossom.com was created. On this site, the conference talks are shared. In addition, young adult women write positive and uplifting blogs regarding teenage and young adult life.
Several of these bloggers will speak at this year’s conference.
One is Ashley Tucker, a Beehive leader in the 30th Ward, Mesa Central Stake, ASU graduate in political science and full-time mom.
“These conferences give girls a weeklong self-confidence boost,” she says. “Girls walk away feeling they are enough. They also learn skills and hear from speakers who inspire them to try new things, believe, be the change they want to see, and have a ton of fun.”
Tiffany Cook, of Power Ranch First Ward, San Tan Stake, has been married for seven years. She and her husband have two boys. Tiffany says, “My favorite thing is I get to tell the girls a few things I wish I had known when I was a teen.”
She adds, “I think Time to Blossom provides a missing link—that extra boost of confidence that can’t come from your parents because they seem out of reach and can’t come from your friends because they are going through it too.”
Another blogger, Alexis Arias, has been a speaker at every conference since the program began.
Alexis, who was Arizona’s Junior Miss 2009 and now lives in the Las Sendas Ward, Salt River Stake, with her husband and baby, says, “My class this year is focused on etiquette. I hope I can help the girls understand that etiquette isn’t outdated! Learning basic manners—not just at the table, but also on social media—is a skill that will help them forever,” Alexis says.
Other speakers at this year’s conference will include Eric Richards, EFY and Education Week speaker, Madeline Paige, Time Out for Girls speaker, contestant on “The Voice;’ Dennis Deaton, author and motivational speaker and Jef Rawls, comedian, actor and owner of Jester’Z Improv.
Time to Blossom attendees will participate in a concert, a comedy show and service projects, among many other fun and instructive activities.
This year’s Time to Blossom young women’s conference will be June 13-17, with classes at EVIT in Mesa. Girls choosing the overnight option will stay at Hyatt Place Hotel.
Tuition will increase May 2 and registration closes May 30. For prices and more information, visit www.YWConference.com.