By Vera Hadzi-Antich
August 11, 2010

For a teenage girl, the opportunity to focus on self-esteem, education and leadership is priceless. This opportunity is now offered to NYC's inner city girls through The Fresh Air Fund's Precious Center For Teen Leadership. Thanks to a generous contribution of $1.325 million by Sarah Siegel-Magness and Gary Magness, the producers of the hit movie Precious, the center in Fishkill, NY, is open year round and inspires and educates about 180 young women each year.

"When we had the success with Precious, I knew that we had to give back to everybody the gift this movie has given, and we decided this center would be the perfect place to do that," Sarah says.

At the center, the young girls are coached in reading and writing, self-esteem, nutrition and fitness.

Some of the SHAPE editors had the opportunity to spend time with the girls enrolled in "Camp Precious," and saw firsthand that their hunger for knowledge, success and-of course-fun is absolutely contagious.

"These are powerful, young girls," Sarah says. "Even though they're from the inner city, they are full of life and a yearning to learn, and [we hope] they go on to be brilliant leaders."

Watch this video on what these girls learned at confidence camp-their enthusiasm is inspiring. In an ideal world, every young woman would be able to attend The Precious Center. For now, this is a great start!


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