Fifteen Year Old Kristina Coia Develops Shine Through - National Character Development Program For Young Girls
“When Falcon’s Prey was first published, I knew that I would have to present my book to schools at some point. After writing a rough draft presentation about my book, Falcon’s Prey, I realized that it was unexciting,” said Kristina Coia. “To catch the attention of my peer audience, I had to include some real-life material to help students relate to the main character, Princess Ana. I created the idea of Shine Through, a motivational, interactive presentation that combines everyday challenges with solutions provided by scenarios from Falcon’s Prey.
Unlike other character programs for young girls, Shine Through is presented by a peer who has actually faced the same challenges and pressures that the girls in the program are experiencing. This has allowed for participants to relate to the message in a more open way and ask questions that they are sometimes would not ask an adult. The program allows for interactive participation.
“I have found that being a teen and having gone through the pressures of middle school and my freshman high school year, the girls in Shine Through and I can relate to many of the same experiences,” said Kristina. “Most importantly, I find that when I describe some of the pressures I experienced, they nod their heads and open up with their own pressures.”
The Shine Through program is set up in three stages:
Stage One – Discovery. This stage deals with the questions of self doubt, self-consciousness, peer pressure, and idealization. Participants are asked to explore the barriers to personal discovery and are challenged with the questions: Are you wearing a mask? Is the person in the mirror the real you? In this stage, Kristina teaches that one must take the initiative to find the real you rather then create a façade.
Stage Two – Experimentation. In this stage, Kristina teaches that you must determine who you want to be and what you need to do to become that person. In this stage, Kristina introduces the Purple Wig Theory which Shine Through is becoming famous for. The Purple Wig Theory teaches that it is okay to be an individual and that you must do what you want to do because you want to do it. In this stage, Kristina dons a purple wig showing that it’s alright to have purple hair, as long as you are comfortable with who you are, even if you aren’t perfect.
Stage Three – Be Comfortable With Who You Are. In this stage, Kristina teaches participants not to worry about what others think, be yourself and let yourself shine through.
“The goal of Shine Through is to let each person shine through as the person they really are,” said Kristina. “It’s important to be able to stand up to peer pressure and have the self-esteem to do that. If all of us can do that, we will each shine through in our individual way.
Shine Through has been used in various programs in the Northeast and is available nationally. Shine Through was featured on FOX & Friends and shows across the country. Parents and girls who take part in Shine Through come away feeling empowered and with a renewed sense of self-esteem, sense of who they are, and why it is so important just to be yourself. Each course is conducted by Kristina.
“In Shine Through, I want people to be honest with who they really are,” said Kristina. “If we are honest with ourselves, we can discover who and what we really want to be and shine brightly.
In addition to Shine Through, Kristina is a talented singer and has just released her second teen novel, Lymeria.
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