Posted on February 28, 2018
More than 300 teens interacted and learned about creating healthy and positive relationships during the inaugural event
February 28, 2018 (Mission Viejo, Calif.) –Tilly’s Life Center (TLC) and Ladera Ranch-based Laura’s House sold out for the first annual Festival of the Hearts event to educate Orange County teens on creating and cultivating healthy, positive relationships. The one-day festival that took place on Saturday February 24 at Saddleback Community College in Mission Viejo, Calif., hosted more than 300 teens parents and teachers with live entertainment, food, workshops and interactive activities like yoga, art therapy, and self-defense.
“At Tilly’s Life Center we are committed to empowering teens with the tools needed to take responsibility of their own lives, relationships and future. I believe programs and events like ours will help enrich the lives of all teens across the board,” said Monica Utley, TLC’s Executive Director. “Given the success of this year’s event, we are looking forward to a second annual event.”
“With the rise of teen dating abuse and violence, it is vital now more than ever that we educate young people about healthy relationships,” said Margaret Bayston, executive director at Laura’s House. “We are motivated to do more events like this seeing the turnout of our inaugural festival, which shows that the community cares and finds value in educating teens about this important topic.”
Spoken word artist Phil Kaye, who has delivered inspirational speeches and Ted Talks, opened up the first annual Festival of the Hearts
Throughout the day, teens were given the opportunity to participate in breakout sessions on topics including positive affirmations, leadership, safe dating, cyber safety, social media and bullying, and media literacy
Festival of the Hearts attendees grab lunch provided by El Pollo Loco
Prior to a performance by Latina hip hop band Bella Dose, their personal announcer got participants to dance on stage and gave away a cash prize
Endnote speaker, Ralph Rocha, who has overcome abusive relationships, gang violence, learning disabilities and time spent in juvenile hall, shared his inspiring story on how he was able to overcome life’s challenges
The teams from Tilly’s Life Center and Laura’s House
Tilly’s Life Center and Laura’s House would like to extend a warm thank you to all of its supporters, donors, participants and volunteers who helped make this a successful event.
Follow Laura’s House and its H.E.A.R.T. program on Instagram at @laurashouseoc and @laurashouseheart.
TLC aims to empower teens to overcome their own adversity and crises through positive thinking. Through tested methodologies from globally-respected thought leaders, TLC teaches effective life tools that equip teens with the confidence and self-esteem they need to take responsibility for themselves – ultimately giving them the power to make positive changes in their own lives. To find out more, please visit www.tillyslifecenter.org.
About Laura’s House:
Laura’s House is a nonprofit organization established in 1994 to provide domestic violence-related services. We serve as the only state-approved comprehensive domestic violence agency in south Orange County, Calif., serving communities throughout Orange County and the surrounding regions of southern California. Over the past 24 years, Laura’s House has provided shelter with support services to more than 5,000 abused men, women and their children and non-residential direct services including 24-hour crisis intervention, counseling, life skills education and legal advocacy to over 55,000 persons. Our mission statement is as follows: Changing social beliefs, attitudes and the behaviors that perpetuate domestic violence while creating a safe space in which to empower individuals and families affected by abuse. Our services include an Emergency Shelter, Counseling and Resource Center, Children’s Therapeutic Programs, Transitional Living Center, Legal Advocacy, and Community Prevention/Education and Outreach. In 2017, we provided direct services to 3,821 persons and prevention/education and community outreach activities to 24,733 persons. To find out more please visit www.laurashouse.org and www.laurashouse.org/lhteen
Debs Choi, Tilly’s Life Center
Heather Wong, Laura’s House