The path of adolescence is a high-wire act for young women today — particularly for those whose faith provides their compass in life. Young women aren’t just navigating the usual growing pains previous generations faced; they’re doing it under the intense scrutiny and pressure of a society in flux.
- Bullying and Peer Pressure: Schools have become arenas where bullying and peer pressure are rampant and can leave lasting, even permanent scars on young psyches. The National Bullying Prevention Center estimates that one in five students reports being bullied.
- Mental Health Rollercoaster: Adolescent girls are increasingly dogged by mental health issues, with a notable spike in depression and anxiety. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that 21% of young adults experience anxiety and depression.
- Body Image in the Social Media Era: The social media juggernaut fuels body image issues, creating a breeding ground for eating disorders and negative self-perceptions. The National Organization for Women (NOW) estimates that 53% of teenage girls are unhappy with their bodies, while 40 to 60% of girls in elementary school are concerned with their weight or becoming too fat and 45.5% of teens are already considering plastic surgery.
- Sexual Abuse and Violence: According to the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN), 1 in 6 women and teenage girls grapple with the aftermath of rape attempts or assaults, particularly acute for girls aged 12 and up.
There is no doubt that these statistics keep countless young women and their parents up at night, but how do they navigate this and stay on track and complete their schooling with excellent grades, going on to make successes of themselves?
Today’s Challenges Revolutionized by Modern Religious Education
Meet Erin and Brent Weidemann, a Montana-based couple who come from very different backgrounds to respond to these challenges.
Erin draws from her experiences as a cancer survivor, former middle school teacher and finance professional turned entrepreneur. She works alongside her husband Brent by recognizing the need for a new approach to religious education. They sought to create something that could speak to the hearts and minds of young women, guiding them through these tumultuous times.
By contrast, Brent works with influencers, brands, speakers, authors, ministry teams and companies to monetize their following, scale their revenue and create long-term sustainability.
Their unique blend of backgrounds is how they were able to launch and scale these platforms so quickly. Both platforms work in tandem and provide young women with the tools and support to overcome these societal hurdles.
Bible Belles reimagines biblical narratives, making them accessible and relevant to young audiences. This innovative approach allows young girls to see their reflections in these stories, fostering a deeper connection with their faith and identity.
Truth Becomes Her extends this vision, focusing on leadership and personal development. It’s more than a storytelling platform; it’s a comprehensive program that includes mentorship and leadership training, aimed at molding young girls into future leaders. This initiative uniquely involves not just youth but also parents, teachers and community leaders, creating a supportive ecosystem for the development of empowered, confident young women.
Practicing What They Preach
A key aspect of the Weidemanns’ methodology is the personalization of education. Recognizing the uniqueness of each child, their programs are designed to be flexible and adaptable, catering to individual needs and experiences. This personalized approach is crucial in making the learning experience meaningful and impactful.
The Weidemanns don’t just provide guidance for instilling values in other people’s daughters. At home, they practice what they preach. As Erin explains it, “Each of my daughters, Rooney (9), Roxy (3), Ila (3) and Nyomi (2), brings to our life and this world unique challenges and joys. Raising them has been a practical application of the principles I advocate through my work. It’s about nurturing their individualities while instilling values like flexibility, leadership and selflessness.”
Embracing the Digital Age
Given the many downsides of social media (pressure to keep up with celebrities and the popular students at school), the Weidemanns believe in positively embracing technology. They seamlessly integrate digital tools into their educational methods by utilizing interactive content and online programs that resonate with a generation immersed in all things digital. This approach broadens their reach, making their teachings more relatable and engaging for young audiences.
Impacting Lives and Communities
The influence of the Weidemanns’ work has sparked crucial conversations about the role of faith in modern life and the importance of strong female role models. Frances L. is a client who bought the Bible Belle series for her granddaughter and had this to say, “I bought my granddaughter the series years ago. She loves them and tells me it’s a way to keep God close to her heart.”
The Weidemanns continue to innovate and expand their reach, adapting their methods to stay relevant in a world that continues to evolve. Their commitment to their vision is a testament to their role as trailblazers in faith-based education.
Erin and Brent Weidemann have successfully bridged the gap between traditional faith-based education and the modern digital landscape. Through their dedication and empathetic approach, they offer young minds an engaging and inspiring way to explore their faith, empowering a new generation to navigate the world with confidence and grace.