Empowering young girls with the assurance that God created them uniquely themselves, beautiful and lovable, gives them confidence to wisely choose their friends (both boys and girls) as well as their activities.

Real Me is a seminar-style workshop series geared toward helping teenage girls cultivate good self-esteem. Each participant will need her own journal. This journal is full of thought-provoking questions and activities to help girls get the most out of her seminar. Some seminars also have guided activities.

The series of sequential seminars, Real Me, Real Beauty, Real Friends, and Real Love, are written by Tamyra Horst, women's ministries director in North American Division for Pennsylvania Conference.

The leader's guides and participant's journals are available for purchase in the United States of America from AdventSource.org. Real Me, Real Beauty, Real Friends, and Real Love.

Real Me seminars have been particularly effective in the South Sea Islands.

About 100 Teenage Girls Attend REAL ME Conference in the Solomon Islands

South Pacific Division (SPD)

[Solomon Islands] Teenage girls and young women were targeted in October 2018 for a weekend of women’s ministries (WM) programs in Honiara, the Solomon Islands.

The weekend began Friday night with about 80 single women attending the meeting. The number swelled over 100 for Sabbath meetings. The event for single women was a first for the South Pacific Division (SPD).

About 100 teenage girls, ages 13-19, attended the Real Me workshop presented Sunday by Erna Johnson, past director of SPD WM, who was joined by Danijela Schubert, coordinator for women in ministry at SPD, and Beverly Maega, women's ministries director for the Solomon Islands.

The Real Me event for young girls took them through the seminar-style Real Me program which has five separate sessions. Schubert and Maega each presented one session.

As is her custom before a Real Me series, Johnson worked ahead of time with women who volunteered to assist as counselors at the table groups of young girls. The counselors encouraged the girls throughout the day and prayed with them at the end of each session. The brief but necessary training of the volunteers helped them make a significant impact on the teenagers.

Source: Erna Johnson, SPD WM past director
published in Mosaic newsletter, 2018, Vol. 11, No.4
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Papua New Guinea Hosts First REAL BEAUTY Conference for Young Girls

South Pacific Division (SPD)

[Papua New Guinea] At the Pacific Adventist University campus (PAU) in October 2013, a record was achieved when 210 teenage girls attended the first Real Beauty conference held in PNG. Real Me workshops have previously been held in PNG.

Twenty adult women mentors assisted the conference presenter, Erna Johnson, women's ministries director of South Pacific Division, who worked with the volunteers ahead of time giving them instructions for what was needed at the table groups of girls. This is one of the keys to success for presenting Real Me events.

On the strength of the reports he heard about the Real Beauty conference, PAU Vice Chancellor Ben Thomas personally invited Johnson to return next year to hold a weekend retreat for PAU’s young women. Dr. Thomas supports Women’s Ministries priorities and understands the problems his female students face.

Source: Erna Johnson, SPD WM director
published in Mosaic newsletter,
2014, Vol. 13, No.1

Teenage Girls Request REAL FRIENDS Workshop in the Solomon Islands

South Pacific Division (SPD)

[Solomon Islands] Women’s Ministries in the Solomon Islands hosted their first age-specific conferences for teenage girls and young women. The success of Real Beauty, which attracted ninety teenagers, ages 13-19, for the three-day conference in June 2013, is revealed in their request to attend another workshop next year. They cannot wait to attend Real Friends, the third installment in the Real Me series.

Many mature women assisted Erna Johnson, women's ministries director for the South Pacific Division, and conference organizer Beverly Maega, Solomon Islands women's ministries director, in the role of group mentors, helping the teenagers understand that Jesus makes them beautiful as they grow in Him. Real beauty, the girls learned, is not outward good looks, but the inner loveliness that comes from knowing Jesus loves us. He is the only one who can make us beautiful as we grow in Him.

A goal for women's ministries in the South Pacific is mentoring young women in leadership. In a few years these teenagers will be mentored for leadership roles.

In the meantime, Johnson and Maega are thrilled with the response of fifty women under the age of 40 who attended the June 2013 conference, "My Choice, My Destiny." The young adults discovered their own spiritual gifts, discussed getting out of their comfort zones and living lives with Jesus in control, and became encouraged to prepare for His soon return. These young women are preparing for leadership and Johnson knows Adventist Women's Ministries will be in good hands in the future.

Source: Erna Johnson, SPD WM director
published in Mosaic newsletter,
2013, Vol. 12, No. 5


The Real Love workshop is the fourth installment in the Real Me series.