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SPEAR volunteers build self-esteem

By From page B1 | August 08, 2012

Caroline Mohlstrom, D.C., said she believes a person’s self-esteem — in particular pre-teens and teenagers — can be seen in the way they present themselves to family and friends.

“Posture can provide information on non-verbal communication and emotions,” said Mohlstrom.

Mohlstrom, a chiropractor for 22 years who specializes in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of disorders of the neck and back, runs the Oak Hills Chiropractic Center in El Dorado Hills. She moved to California a year ago after selling her practice in Chicago.

She said if a person has a closed posture, it gives the impression of detachment and wanting to be alone. Closed arms across the body is one of the signals. An open posture — raised head and open palms — is often perceived as a friendly and positive attitude.

“You’re welcoming the world,” said Mohlstrom. “Your posture and body language can facilitate communication.”

A year ago, Mohlstrom met Vivian Figueira, founder of Suicide Prevention Education Action Resources, a non-profit organization that conducts workshops in performing arts to enhance self-esteem among pre-teens and teenagers. This includes career planning, interview techniques, social etiquette, speech improvement and wardrobe. Work is done in front of and behind the camera.

The women quickly realized they shared a bond — both feeling strongly about building up self-esteem in pre-teens and teenagers and that a positive self-belief is critical as they become adults. Self-esteem building activities encourage this positive outlook, they said.

“She understands the connection with body movement, and the connection between the brain and the physicality of it,” said Mohlstrom of Figueira.

Figueira added, “I think it’s a good thing.”

In 1993 Figueira lost her daughter Koreen, 37, to suicide.

“She was never diagnosed with any disorder,” Figueira said, explaining that the event spurred a passion. “Now, it’s all about helping the children.”

Start with good grooming

Mohlstrom has offered to volunteer in this mission and could join Figueira and SPEAR volunteers when they teach performance art classes to pre-teen and teenagers at Pleasant Grove Middle School in Rescue.

School counselor Melissa Carroll, with the support of principal Dave Scroggins, approached Figueira and SPEAR about working with the students.

“We start off by teaching the students good grooming and build from there. We talk to them on how to build their self-esteem with voice projection, script writing, monologues and personality development,” said Figueira, 82, who worked as a model and then a teacher at Barbizon School of Modeling in Oakland.

Learning the art of voice projection in front of and behind the camera instills confidence and, as Figueira put it, “That’s where the jobs are.”

For more information about SPEAR visit spearsaveskids.com.

Wine and Olive Oil Tasting event

A Wine and Olive Oil Tasting event will raise money for SPEAR’s middle school program. It will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 11, at the Holiday Inn Express, 4360 Town Center Drive in El Dorado Hills.

Along with sampling wines and olive oils, guests will also enjoy appetizers, desserts and chocolates provided by Nugget Market, Safeway and Mechanics Bank.

Robert Aragon and Richard Noyes will play light jazz during the event.

Tickets for Wine and Olive Oil Tasting are $20 in advance and $35 for couples. The day of the event tickets will be $25 at the door.

Get tickets at the Mountain Democrat/Village Life offices, 1360 Broadway in Placerville; We Olive, 1000 White Rock Road in El Dorado Hills; Mechanics Bank on Town Center Drive in El Dorado Hills and 3 Brothers Restaurant, 3421 Coach Lane in Cameron Park.

Proceeds from the ticket sales help purchase learning materials and books. The money will also help fund field trips.

For additional information on the event contact Figueira at (530) 676-2119.

Mike Bush


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