Her Story is a monthly blog series featuring personal stories about how Hardy Girls has influenced girls’ lives.

By Lizzie Woodbury

As a fraternal twin, 8-year-old Haylee Sodoma, has limited opportunities to explore and assert her individuality outside of her relationship with her twin brother. It is often difficult for twins to form their own unique identity as teachers and coaches are constantly associating them with their sibling. To give her daughter an environment to learn and grow separate from her twin, Haylee’s mother, Debra Sodoma, began seeking out programs exclusive to Haylee’s gender. However, the struggle to find a suitable environment in which Haylee could assert her own identity was augmented by the fact that Haylee has struggled with developmental delays that make it difficult to connect with others.

“Haylee is exceptionally intelligent and loves to learn, but one of her challenges is to develop friendships and social relationships,” Sodoma said. In the end, Sodoma signed Haylee up for Adventure Girls with Hardy Girls Healthy Women. Haylee was not shy with sharing how much she enjoyed Adventure Girls. Her mother attributes her part of excitement to the older girls in the outings who serve as excellent role models for Haylee.

“This program gives her the opportunity to connect with older peers and gives greatAG Hart of Hart access to use social skills modeling, which is something that we are working on with her,” Sodoma said. Not only do the other adventurers teach Haylee how to establish relationships with those around her, they provide her with a new level of confidence, she said. In fact, after visiting the Hart to Hart farm this season to work with a female farmer, Haylee came home with a lot to talk about. She was amazed because she never knew that there were so are many types of farms, and that each farm animal has a specific function to assist the farmer in her business.

All this new information inspired Haylee to begin thinking about her future and what it might hold. From that point on, she began asking her mom questions about different career paths that she might want to pursue later in life — something she had never done before, Sodoma said. After each adventure with Adventure Girls, Haylee ponders whether she might enjoy exploring future options in the new career field she had been introduced to, which has  included farming, carpentry, hiking and robotics so far this season.

Adventure Girls not only triggered new conversations between Haylee and her mother, but it also inspired Haylee to look towards the future with eager anticipation and confidence.