Dealing with pressure from your peers and social media is never easy. Combined with the sudden rise of reality TV, girls are exposed to much more at a younger age.
The ’90’s however was filled with monumental she-ro’s like Topanga Lawrence, Tia Landry, Tamera Campbell, Moesha Mitchell, and many other boss babes that graced our TV screens each week. These images allowed girls like me to have healthy role models to admire.
In 2017, there are fewer Malia and Sasha Obama’s gracing magazine covers. Adolescents are being groomed to believe their hair must be of a certain length and texture, their bodies must be of a certain weight, butt’s must be bigger, waists smaller, and more reminding us that the need for positive role models in our communities is at an all-time high.
Check out these five programs who are setting a great example of mentoring and guiding young women.
Bring in the Queens.
The Queen Academy is a five-week mentoring program based in Washington, D.C. for girls ages 13-21. Their mission is to mold women of substance while creating and maintaining healthy, lifelong relationships. The five-week program shines light on various areas of self-care such as, Loving Yourself 101, Navigating the Digital World, Financial Literacy, Relationships, and Career Queen.
Cool Girls is an organization based in Atlanta, GA. Their goal is to empower young girls to break the cycle of poverty, low self-esteem and teen pregnancy for the next twenty-five years and beyond. There are many layers to this club. Cool Girls Club is the after-school program for grades 2 through 8, providing academic support in core subjects, life skills, as well as expanding their knowledge on the importance of fitness and nutrition. Cool Girls has partnered with a plethora of elementary and middle schools in the Atlanta area, making the program available to many young women. To truly empower our girls to change their world, education must be at the forefront of our focus.
Cool Scholars, aside from college tours, financial literacy, and exam preparation, Cool Scholars has given over $75,000 in scholarships to girls attending colleges or universities. Those who participated in CGC in the elementary and/or middle school level are eligible for the program. Lastly, Cool Sisters, is the mentoring element of Cool Girls. Cool Sisters has matched over 1,000 young girls with a ‘big sisters’ and role models, giving them one-on-one relationships and creating intangible bonds.
Polished Pebbles is a Chicago based mentoring program for young women ages 7 to 17, whose mission is to coach girls on the lifetime benefits of effective communication; teaching them to let go of aggression, while promoting healthy ways of communicating and problem solving. Their program grooms girls to speak up in class, join groups and seek leadership positions, communicate effectively and respectfully to adults, have peaceful interactions with their peers, and prepare for future careers. Their services are both school and community based, and open to the public.
Since starting their program in 2013, Project Girl has changed the lives of 350 young women. Based in the Lynwood area of Washington state, the mentors work to build core character values in the growing ladies of the program; to include, ambition, empowerment, resilience, and respect, to name a few. Centered around girls ages 11 to 18, they’re able to act as an ongoing source of motivation to thrive, and grow into your full potential.
Founded in Baltimore, Maryland back in 2009 by youth advocate Tiffany Ginyard who saw a need for role models in her community and created The Fly Girl Network. Their motto is, ‘where being you is fly.’ The original Fly & Fearless Coaching Program was held at a local Baltimore high school, and has since grown reach over 100 girls. Their mission is to promote personal development in girls 11-18, as well as being a reliable source of support to overcome personal, social and academic obstacles.
There are programs of similar nature all over the country providing a listening ear, warm arms, and gentle touch for growing girls. These mentors provide the needed and ongoing support, while serving as a constant reminder that you are enough as you are. These organizations are a reminder of the importance of looking out for our sister’s, assuring that they are growing in love and reaching their maximum potential.