The Cheese Ball Chick comes to speak at BEA, April 22
For the past few years a local group has been bringing inspirational speakers to the Blue Earth Area School District.
This year is no different as the group of area youth leaders prepare for another presentor in Blue Earth who will speak to both students and members of the public.
Molly Sanborn will be coming to speak on the topic of sex, love and relationships on Wednesday, April 22.
She will speak to the students during the day, but will present to the public at 7 p.m. the same date in the Performing Arts Center.
“She is pretty forthright,”?says Hilary Korynta, the youth pastor of Wells Assembly of God. “Teens really want to talk about sex and we need to be with the times and want to address the issues with a healthy perspective.”
Sanborn is a national speaker and will be presenting a talk titled “Keep Your Pants On”?when she will use humor and embarrassing stories of her own to share valuable lessons.
“It is not awkward, at all, the way she approaches the subject,” Kim Jacobson of Trinity Lutheran Church in Blue Earth says.
Sanborn uses her signature gimmick during most of her speaking engagements as well, which is cheese balls.
She is known for wearing a large tub of cheese balls on her back during her appearance on the TV show Wipeout, after which earning the name Cheese Ball Chick.
“It’s just how she breaks the ice,”?Korynta adds.
Once the audience is comfortable, Sanborn will talk about her own personal experiences on the subjects of abstinence and teen relationships.
According to her website, much of her inspiration comes from her faith. However, she is sensitive to that and leaves it out of her presentation in the school. “Then, she tells the students, ‘for the rest of the story come to the evening presentation,'” Jacobson explains.
During the 7 p.m. event, Sanborn will add in her faith and how it affected her choices in her life and how that relates back to the audience.
“We want students to have some sense of identity and to ask themselves how that impacts their choices,”?says Janelle Jacobsen, volunteer youth coordinator at Hope United Methodist Church. “Many of these students are at the age where they are beginning to form their values.”
Most of the past speakers at BEA have included the theme of bullying and Sanborn’s is no different as it includes underlying messages about bullying.
“There can be a lot of bullying with relationships, too,”?says Katy Gonzalez, the program coordinator of the Blue Earth Area Mentors.
Many of the area youth directors agree that a lot of bullying can come from interrelations and some of that comes with the pressure to have a relationship as a teenager.
“There is an emotional connection to sex and culture teaches us to divorce from that,”?Jacobsen adds.
The evening presentation is appropriate for the whole family and everyone is recommended to attend. However, parents should use discretion for students under the seventh grade level.
“She (Sanborn) talks about a letter from a student at a school she had spoken at and he said ‘if only I?had heard this in junior high,”?says Angie Nagel of Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Church in Blue Earth.
Overall, this group of local youth leaders hopes having Sanborn speak at the school will spur some ongoing discussion for the students and their families.
But, who is this group of youth leaders who have continued to bring inspirational speakers and presentations to the area?
They are known as the Blue Earth Area or Faribault County Youth Workers. The group was started about four years ago with a couple of local youth leaders.
“I think Aaron Evenson really had it in his heart to pull this group together,”?says Reid Ellis, pastor of the River of Life Worship Center.
The group meets monthly to network, pray for each other and the students and to just generally support one another.
“The ministry can be a lonely place sometimes and we did this to combat that,”?Korynta says. “There are so few people that do the same thing we do.”
The group consists of youth leaders, pastors and church youth coordinators from all over Faribault County and includes churches of Assembly of God, Lutheran, Methodist and Catholic faiths, as well as the BEAM coordinator.
Also during their monthly meetings, the group will discuss annual speakers; planning who to bring, when to bring them and spreading the word about the presentations.
In the past they have hosted Agape, a Christian hip hop group who came to Blue Earth over Giant Days weekend; Reggie Dabbs, who spoke about bullying at BEA; Eric Samuel Timm, who was a painter; and now Molly Sanborn.
“Students who came from a more rough background related more to Dabbs, while more artsy students connected to Timm,”?Gonzalez says. “So we thought about bringing a female speaker for other students to relate to.”
The group is also open to any other area youth leaders who may be looking for a group like this to connect, network and share activities with.
Anyone interested in learning more about the group or becoming involved can contact BEAM program coordinator, Gonzalez, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org