'I want girls to grow up with the confidence to be whoever they want to be and not be influenced by what other people think about them'
Onyx Uwandulu is reaching out to teenage girls who are suffering from low self-esteem and anxiety.
The 16-year-old, from Newbridge, Caerphilly, leads a dance class which she says helped boost her confidence.
Fixers arranged for her to tell her story on ITV News Wales on March 9.
Onyx says: ‘I’m aware of girls in my school who are not fully confident in who they are.
‘I want to encourage them to find something that they're really passionate about that they can put their heart and soul into.
‘You need to explore and find what you’re good at – it’s crucial for your mental health and the future of your life.‘
‘Dancing has helped me gain confidence – it’s my passion. But for somebody else it could be art or it could be music.
‘I know there’s girls who want to take up sports like football and rugby but they’re worried that people are going to give them name tags.
‘But we shouldn’t worry about people judging us – we should be able to express ourselves and not worry about what people are going to say.
‘I hope that this will encourage girls to stand up for what they believe in, without worrying about other people judging them.'
Dr Jennifer Austin from the School of Psychology at the University of Wales believes it's important to focus on boosting self esteem amongst girls.
She says: 'This is really important, in light of the increase in mental health issues. Teenagers and particularly young women are more at risk of particular types of mental health issues including depression and anxiety.
‘So something like Onyx is doing – telling young people to find something that boosts your self esteem – can be an incredibly helpful protective factor against the development of mental health issues.'
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