Fear is a part of life and something we all experience. Some fears are natural, some we learn to live with, but some fears can stop us from doing what we want to do in life. Now, thanks to Feminenza’s Young Women’s Leadership Program at PHS, some young ladies have learned to better manage some of their fears and approach their life with an increased amount of self-confidence.

Earlier this month, nine PHS students went through several workshops on fear, including one 7-hour day spent outside, to help them deal with their fears. During the workshops, Feminenza leaders spoke to the students about how fear works in the brain and how the emotional part of the brain can hijack people in many situations, to the point where fear can cause a person to panic or freeze. How to bring fear to a standstill, so to be able to better manage it, was then explored through various understandings, theaters and participation in a unique outdoor process called “The Field of Fears”.

“Fear is the one thing that can prevent us from pursuing our passions or dreams,” said Feminenza advisor Eileen McGowan.

In the “Field of Fears”, girls identified their personal fears, gathered their strengths, qualities and achievements and then chose 3 to 5 specific fears to tackle, using certain tools that have proven to be successful with women and girls all over the world. Feedback from students after completing the tasks was overwhelmingly positive, with all who attended feeling a sense of accomplishment.


“Before this training, the fear had more power but now I have more power,” said one student who attended the workshop.


“During the part about our achievements, it was hard at first,” added another student. “I couldn’t think of hardly anything to do with my qualities, successes or skills. Then, Ms. McGowan came and helped me. When I saw my skills, I was happy. I also didn’t realize before that I had so many qualities.”

The PHS Feminenza Program still has space for a few more young ladies who would be interested in joining. For more information about how to get involved with the group, please contact Jennifer Archilla at (914)406-2014 or jennifer.archila@feminenza.org.