Confidence With Heart: The Confidence Boost Every Girl Needed

This week, with the help of the Kappa Delta Foundation’s Confidence U Grant, various organizations at Sacred Heart University are encouraging girls campus-wide to chant Hailee Steinfeld’s song “Love Myself” proudly. According to the Confidence U homepage, only two percent of girls think they are beautiful. Because of the Confidence U grant, Sacred Heart University has been able to implement confidence and empowerment-building activities in order to change this percentage.

This past August, juniors Katie Guarino and Elizabeth McLean applied for the Confidence U Grant, along with the help of Sacred Heart sorority delegates. Each year, a grant of up to $5,000 is awarded to just ten college campuses. This year’s recipients included East Carolina University, Furman University, Hanover College, Purdue University, Sacred Heart University, Samford University, Texas A&M University, University of Arkansas, University of Illinois Urbana- Champaign and the University of Richmond. Sacred Heart University is the smallest school on the list

While it’s easy to believe every girl on campus lives a happy, confident lifestyle, it’s time we take a reality check. This past Tuesday, girls were stopped in the halls and encouraged to pledge why they are confident. A number of girls responded, “But I don’t have anything I’m confident about.” Why do so many of us feel ashamed about loving ourselves? Confidence With Heart Week addresses this question and, more importantly, promotes a positive change in women’s self-esteem. Take a look at all we've accomplished on campus, thanks to the Panhellenic Council and the Confidence U grant:


1. Confidence With Heart Kickoff Brunch: Girls came together Sunday morning to chat over bagels and coffee and watch this empowering video created by Sacred Heart’s Panhellenic Council:


2. Empowerment Mass: As a woman on campus, it’s nice to feel supported by males and females in our journey toward confidence. With a male and female representative speaking on behalf of women's empowerment, this mass set the tone for the rest of the week.

Katie Guarino began the mass: "As college students today, we are under the impression we must be the perfect student, and we feel the pressure to be the most well-rounded person we can be. But there is no such thing as perfection. There is individuality and uniqueness that can be perfected.”

Joe Massaro, Vice President of Kappa Sigma, also weighed in on the topic of women’s confidence: “Men may think they do not have an impact on this week, but they are wrong. As men, we should always be advocates for women. We should continually boost their confidence and empower them to make a difference. As the future generation, our goal should be to honor each other, male or female, and to always support one another’s goals, dreams and visions.”


3. Handwritten Compliments: A number of different organizations took the time to handwrite over one thousand compliments to give women on campus. Who wouldn’t love receiving a note that reads “We need more women like you in this world” or “You’re going to ace that test!” during their busy (dreadful) Monday? The smiles as we handed out the compliments were priceless.

Danielle Berube made the amazing banner!



4. Pledge Banner: Why are you confident? A lot of girls were shy about this subject, which raises an important question. Why are we so ashamed to admit we are confident? Tip: Confidence doesn’t translate to cockiness. In the Confidence U grant, one female pointed out our constant need to qualify compliments or, in other words, our tendency to engage in negative self-talk. For instance, if someone says “You look so pretty today,” girls often respond “Are you insane? I just rolled out of bed.” If someone calls you pretty, it’s okay to just say thank you! Own your confidence.


5. Project STRONG: Project STRONG is an after school program at the Geraldine Johnson Middle School for fifth grade girls. The Panhellenic Executive Board and the VP of Philanthropy, Tori Lettiero, went and talked to the girls about what confidence is this past Tuesday. They also gave the girls helpful tips to stay positive. The fifth grade girls then had the opportunity to share their future goals and dreams with the Sacred Heart women, who then encouraged the young girls to never let anyone distort their visions. The girls were extremely engaged and influenced by the program, which was made possible by the office of Volunteer Services.


6. Guest Speaker, Coach Keisha Howard: How do you want to show up in the world? This is the first question Keisha Howard, a life coach from Texas, asked Sacred Heart women this past Wednesday. Do you want to show up timid, or do you want to show up proud? When Keisha was ten years old, she began her modeling career. However, once she hit puberty, she was turned away for being “too fat” (mind you, she was 5’ 8” and only 102 pounds). After these comments, Keisha tried starving herself before her next competition. To this day, she calls it her “self-esteem secret.” Don’t be fooled by the photos, she reminds us, a lot of pain can be hidden behind a smile. So, how do we rid ourselves of “self-esteem secrets”? One of the most important steps we can take is putting an end to negative self-talk or, more specifically, fat-talk. It’s common for girls to find themselves in a real-life Mean Girls scene: sitting around a mirror with friends pointing out different things they hate about their bodies. This is so not healthy. Coach Keisha informed us that, today, over eighty-percent of American women are dissatisfied with their appearance and ninety-two percent of girls want to change at least one thing about themselves. If we want to show up proudly in this world, this negativity has to stop. We have to believe in ourselves, feel self-assured, appreciate our abilities and value ourselves-- especially if we want to achieve our future goals. It’s hard to nail that interview or take advantage of networking opportunities when you lack confidence. When Keisha was in college, she used to work with Mark Cuban, a majorly successful entrepreneur. But because she lacked confidence, she was too afraid to even say hello to him at the office. With this memory in mind, Keisha stresses how important it is to love yourself. Once you love yourself, you’ll realize you don’t need anybody else. For more from Keisha, visit:


7. Ride with Confidence:  Any SoulCycle class will give you a killer work out, but the instructors also encourage you with confidence-building messages throughout the entire ride, so you can leave every ride feeling accomplished and empowered. This past Wednesday, SoulCycle Westport provided Sacred Heart women with free passes to ride. What better way to build women’s confidence than through healthy, positive vibes?


8. Mirror Decorating: Sacred Heart women gathered at Holy Grounds Coffeehouse to decorate mirrors with inspiring stickers (and, of course, a little glitter!). Like Coach Keisha said, it’s important for all women to avoid negative self-talk, something that most often happens when we look into a mirror. Now, women can see a positive message when they open up their mirrors.


9. Park City Magnet School: A number of Sacred Heart women visited this school to promote and empower fifth through eighth grade girls. At the school, they discussed personal confidence and taught these young girls how they can encourage one another to be positive and aware of their self-worth. Elizabeth McLean, VP of Scholarship, helped organize the events and activities for the day. After showing video clips (including the Barbie commercial and Dove commercial), the Park City Magnet School girls were asked how they think these commercials influence their culture and generation. Through the Confidence U grant, SHU women are really trying to promote positivity, empowerment and confidence in the younger generations, for they are the faces of our future.





10. And not to mention a shout-out from Sophia Bush...


Special thanks to Graduate Assitant Amanda Kolhami, Greek Life Director Laura Arena, the entire Panhellenic Council Executive Board and the Sorority Delegates for making this week happen.

Panhellenic Council Executive Board Members:

Katie Guarino, President

Danielle Berube, Vice President

Elizabeth McLean, Vice President of Scholarship

Tori Lettiero, vice President of Philanthropy

Kaitlyn Mital, Vice President of Recruitment

Tori Giannani, Vice President of Programming

Haley Tanella, Vice President of Public Relations

Sarah Venuti, Secretary

Alyssa Goodsier, Treasurer 


Sorority Delegates:

Olivia Druckery and Christina Molgnicke, Alpha Delta Pi

Christina Zangaglia, Chi Omega

Christine O'Brien, Kappa Delta

Michelle Roy, Phi Sigma Sigma

Rebeca Tytlar, Delta Zeta

Leah Forbes, Zeta Tau Alpha

Erin Morgan, Theta Phi Alpha



It's amazing what can happen when we all come together! Go confidently in the direction of your dreams, ladies! #ConfidenceWithHeart