MONROEVILLE Two Monroeville High School seniors remember the transition from eighth grade to high school so they gave a little help to girls about to go it with a giant slumber party.
"I was terrified to go into high school," Whitney Quillen said. "I want to make them feel like they will be accepted." So she and fellow senior Brittany Welch organized a Beauty Inside and Out Lockin for eighth grade girls as their senior project.
Welch said the two wanted to boost the girls' self-esteem and teach them not to feel intimidated when they walk into Monroeville High School as freshman next fall.
More than half of the eighth grade girls, 22, showed up to the Monroeville Elementary gym Friday night for a special orientation into what it takes to succeed in high school.
"We want to focus on their self-esteem and prepare them for high school," Welch said. The night provided both education and fun.
The girls heard a speaker on the dangers of drugs and alcohol and a dietician from Fisher-Titus Medical Center talked about the importance of good nutrition.
Then the fun began. The girls enjoyed crafts and a scavenger hunt.
Experts from Gems salon in Norwalk also did makeup and nails for each of the girls in preparation for a fashion show. Quillen and Welch had several of their senior friends come by to present a style show for the younger girls.
"I'm into fashion design and I'm going to be a guidance counselor," said Quillen, so enjoying her hobby with younger students seem like a good way to have fun and boost the younger girls' self confidence. "It will go good with the whole self-esteem part of the project."
The eighth-graders all brought their own favorite outfit to get their turn to strut down the runway.
Welch said the chance to interact with seniors was good for the eighth-graders. In addition to Welch and Quillen, other seniors helped out in the fashion show and as group leaders for the girls. The chance to learn the seniors had the same worries at their age could only boost the self confidence of the eighth-graders, Welch said.
"We hope they had a good time and learned something and had some fun with their friends," she added.
What would a slumber party be without a late-night snack? So the girls enjoyed pizza at midnight and then settled in to watch a movie.
They will be up early this morning for a breakfast and then head home, probably to go back to bed for a nap.
Caroline Schmetzer and Deb Harwood, Monroeville teachers, served as chaperones for the event.