New Forrest General Hospital Spirit Girls Class: New Look, New Fun
HATTIESBURG, Miss. – (August 30, 2022) Forrest General Hospital Spirit Girls gathered for their first meeting of the new year during August. But it was much more than just a meeting. This was the first in-person Spirit Girls meeting since the COVID-19 pandemic cancelled get-togethers in 2020. And with a new logo.
“We are excited to welcome the 17th class of young ladies to our Spirit Girls program,” said Millie Swan, Forrest Health vice president. “Since the first class of Spirit Girls in 2005-2006, we’ve worked to empower these students to make healthy decisions and create healthy habits for both themselves and their families. We understand it is important to change with the times to meet the needs of today’s teenagers, and this class will certainly have the opportunity to do that as they begin the year with fresh ideas, goals, and a new logo to inspire them.”
The topic for the first meeting was the importance of maintaining good mental health. Girls participated in an activity promoting self-esteem and were challenged to write down their thoughts, good or bad, in a journal. “Journaling is a good way to release tension and a healthy way to express emotions and thoughts,” Spirit Girls coordinator, Macy Knight, told the group. Guest artist, Lindsay Pearce, a former Spirit Girl, worked with the members on a piece of personalized artwork that allowed each girl to express herself.
While Spirit Girls took part in activities during 2020 and 2021, many of the things they participated in were virtual, or created at home then turned in or given somewhere “We weren’t able to do many activities in-person, so I am excited to be back together for meetings,” said Knight.
“I'm happy the meetings are back because of all the smiles they bring to faces!” said Kiley Cuevas, a high school sophomore. “My favorite things from our meeting today were taking time to unwind and focus on ourselves.”
“Spirit Girls are ever-changing and evolving as the year progresses,” said Knight. “With a new year, it was only fitting that we update and grow alongside the girls representing our program. We wanted a more versatile logo that can go on a shirt pocket, but also transform to be used across a video or social post.”
Knight said the colors pink and purple, which are prevalent to the branding of the program, were kept and a new icon, a purple orchid, implemented. The purple orchid symbolizes respect. For Spirit Girls, this means learning how to respect yourself and your community. According to Knight, the Spirit Girls program is built upon teaching young women how to respect themselves through learning about healthy habits and promoting confidence and self-esteem. “Besides personal growth, the Spirit Girls program focuses on teaching the girls the importance of giving back to a community that gives so much to them,” said Knight. “Therefore, the purple orchid intertwines both of these elements the program hopes to instill within the girls during their time as a Spirit Girl.”
“Purple combines the calm stability of blue and the fierce energy of red. The girls are a mix of both of these qualities as we strive for them to be composed and collected young women, but also driven and determined to succeed by their own terms of success.”
New pink T-shirts feature RESPECT: Yourself, Community, Friendships.
“This is what our program is all about!” said Knight. “When the Spirit Girls are out and about in our community, we want people to quickly be able to see who we are and what we represent! I am so excited to begin the year with a refreshing new look for our program. We have a new logo, and new T-shirts, and have added a symbol that represents our girls and program. The Spirit Girls program, at its core, is still the same. Our purpose is to serve our community and instill healthy habits and confidence within the girls, and now, with an exciting new look!”
Be on the lookout for Spirits Girls at such events as ZooBoo, Hattiesburg Half, Mississippi Miss Hospitality, ZooLights, and The Claiborne.
For more information about Spirits Girls, www.forresthealth.org/spiritgirls.