Taylor Hui, creator of The BeaYOUtiful Foundation, has been nominated for the Young Woman of Distinction Award 2020 by YWCA Metro Vancouver for encouraging self-esteem, self-love and empowerment.
“I remember being 16-years-old and thinking, there needs to be a space for young girls to understand their self-love journey and have a safe dialogue about their mental health,” says Hui, recalling her first thoughts of founding BeaYOUtiful.
The BeaYOUtiful Foundation today
The foundation started as a passion project for Hui after she encountered several peers being bullied and criticized about their insecurities. It began with a single six week program for girls aged 10-13. The agenda was for these young girls to feel empowered, respected, loved and safe.
In the beginning, the girls were mentored by Hui and others who were her peers; their attempt was to build a sisterly relationship rather than a student-teacher relationship. They hosted after-school programs in classrooms.
In the following seven years, Hui managed to turn The Bea-
YOUtiful Foundation to a Canadian charity. Today, it has over 100 volunteers and has worked alongside more than 1500 girls between the ages of 8–14.
Now, the foundation conducts six-week self-esteem programs, confidence workshops, and the annual Inspired by HER conference. In this conference, guest speakers are brought in to talk to the young girls about a variety of topics including body positivity, artistic therapy, diversity and inclusion, nutrition, leadership and goal-setting.
As they have grown, they have held classes in community centres, yoga and dance studios, garden centres and office spaces all over the city. Since COVID-19 hit, they have begun online classes.
Linking themselves with schools in B.C.
Not only was the process of proving themselves a legitimate organization to schools and the school boards challenging, they also had to prove that a program such as this was needed.
Even though Hui launched the foundation as a one-and-a-half-year pilot program as a student herself, once she graduated and had to reapply as an outsider to the Surrey school board, she faced rejection for an entire year.
Even though this was upsetting for her at times, she had to remind herself why she had started the foundation in the first place. This gave her the motivation to continue.
In high school, Hui was extremely active.
“I think at one point, I had joined every club and sports team possible!” expresses Hui.
Being active through the many clubs, teams and societies, she was able to build strong relationships with the administration and many teachers.
When the BeaYOUtiful Foundation started, her teachers helped her by putting her in contact with students they thought would benefit from such a program. Her high school principal introduced her to the right school board and gave her project the push it needed.
“I am so grateful that I had a community behind me…if not for them, I don’t think I would have gotten in front of the right people so quickly to hear my vision and give back to the community in such an impactful way,” recalls Hui.
BeaYOUtiful in the future years
Satisfied at the rate her foundation is growing, Hui recently had a full-circle moment when one of her mentees applied to be a mentor for the Foundation.
She explains how she always hoped, in order to reach more girls nation-wide, for the BeaYOUtiful Foundation to move to an online platform. In a serendipitous way, COVID-19 has made sure that they are moving closer to this goal.
In the last few months, the BeaYOUtiful Foundation was able to reach over 80 girls in BC and Alberta through online classes. And in the coming months, they hope to include youth from Ontario to their team.
A more long-term goal for the Foundation?
“This hints to my main goal for BeaYOUtiful: a national, self-love conference tour!” says Hui.
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