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Beat: Health Education

Type: Profile on a program

Title: Shine True, Strong You
By: Kaila Young
Plattsburgh --- Shine true, strong you. The motto of the Plattsburgh program Shine On, which is
a developmental program that uses building block exercises to help young girls grow into strong,
confident women.
Colleen Lemza began the program Shine On several years ago after working with young
women in the hospital who were suffering from abusive relationships. Colleen has a Masters
degree in Mental Health as well as Public Relations and decided she needed to use these degrees
to start a program that could potentially change lives.
Seeing young women come in with no self-esteem, going back to their abusive
relationships due to their lack of confidence as an individual broke my heart. I never understood
why someone could let another individual treat them that way, so I began to do research, Lemza
said. After spending some time doing research on young women Lemza began the program Shine
The program started out as a small daylong event that involved a small group of young
girls taking in informative information about character building. However, after the first year the
program caught on and now is an overnight event that allows 200 young girls to sign up. The
program includes different activities each year that build character strengths, and teach young
girls of elementary school age how to grow up into strong confident women in a world with
many negative pressures.

Kenzie Cavulluzo, a sophomore student at SUNY Plattsburgh is a proud mentor of the

program Shine On. Being a mentor in this program is a volunteered job that allows you to work
with the younger girls through a series of activities. Being a Shine On mentor is a privilege
because youre helping benefit young girls by teaching them the wrongs of our society. Youre
helping them learn that they can be anything they want to be, despite what society tells them to
be, and that is what is so beautiful about it, Cavulluzo said.
Cristen Monty, a senior a SUNY Plattsburgh started out as a mentor for Shine On, and is
now on the committee. Joining the committee was a great decision on my part, after being a
mentor I got the hands on experience; and now I am happy to be a part of the planning process,
Monty said.
Being on the Shine On Committee consists of working with a small group of young
women daily in order to plan the overnight event in the spring. According to Lemza the young
women on the committee are dealing with event planning, logistics, marketing, and
communications therefore it involves a lot of preplanning and work.
Shine on is a program that is currently only located in Plattsburgh, however Lemza states
she is hoping the program continues to grow much larger so they can expand it to other areas.

Colleen Lemza
(518) 570-7898

Cristen Monty

Kenzie Cavulluzo
(516) 503-3951