Steps to Hope offers empowerment opportunities for all ages

Published 12:09 pm Wednesday, May 15, 2024

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COLUMBUS—In recognition of Mental Health Awareness Month, Steps to Hope acknowledges the vital link between mental health and empowerment. The following programs offered free of charge to the community aim to not only equip individuals with practical skills but also foster confidence, resilience, and positive mental well-being.

Women of all ages are invited to participate in EmpowerHer Self-Defense, a women-only group dedicated to learning techniques of self-defense and cultivating the confidence to fight back. Led by an experienced instructor, Brian Jones, participants learn practical self-defense skills in a supportive environment. The goal is to instill a sense of safety, authorizing women to fearlessly navigate the world with certainty and strength.

Empower Martial Arts for Youth is a program for youth ages 6-16. Special sessions offer a unique opportunity to build confidence, coordination, positive behavior, and direction. Divided into two age groups, ages 6-11 and 12-16, these classes provide a space for young individuals to develop physical skills, discipline, and mental endurance. Participants will engage in martial arts training that promotes not only physical fitness but also emotional health.

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All programs take place at the Steps to Hope Community Room, located on the Wall Street entrance of Steps to Hope in Columbus. Empower Martial Arts sessions are held from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. for ages 6-11 and from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. for ages 12-16. EmpowerHer Self-Defense sessions are held every Wednesday at 5:30 p.m..

For more information or to register for classes, call 828-894-2340 or email

Steps to Hope is a domestic violence and sexual assault center located in Columbus, serving Polk County and the Upstate. To learn more about the agency and its services, visit


Submitted by Jessica Cashwell