“To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance.” – Oscar Wilde
Growing up in New Jersey in the 1980s, you could not help but hear Whitney Houston’s rendition of “Greatest Love of All.” The song about learning to love yourself includes an entire verse dedicated to children being the future and needing to learn how to value themselves.
When I recently came across the highlighted quote by Oscar Wilde, the song popped into my head for the first time in a long time. I honestly cannot tell you the last time I heard the song anywhere, but I still know all the words.
And those words are very clearly applicable to the work done by Boys and Girls Homes of North Carolina.
Our youth have come from places where loving yourself is not always easy. They have been put in positions where they are told in words and actions that they are not worthy of love.
Yet from the moment they come into the BGHNC continuum of care, that narrative starts to change. All staff are charged with helping to provide an environment of care where health, healing and hope are experienced. Our model of care emphasizes a strength-based approach to encourage our youth to discover their best selves and bring that version of themselves into the world. We want to encourage them to participate in the community, growing to become leaders on campus before moving into the larger world.
Melissa Hopkins is the Public Relations and Marketing Specialist for Boys and Girls Homes of North Carolina.