How it all started
Growing up, I always had a passion for impacting the lives of others. At a young age, I can recall telling my mother how I wanted to use my small allowance to feed the homeless. It wasn't until I was 14 when I realized that helping others would be my purpose on Earth. After recovering from the loss of countless friends and letting go of all the drama in my life, I realized that I couldn't be the only girl experiencing these emotions. There had to be girls in the same position as me. I stayed up all night conducting research on how to start a connect group. I concluded that it had to be simple, just gather a group of girls together and talk about your issues right? The only thing was... how was I going to get the money to do all of this with no job? The next morning I woke up a few minutes before my regular scheduled time and asked my mom if she could drive me to Dunkin Donuts. There, I purchased two dozen donuts and sold them at my school. They sold out instantly. The profit was minimum so I decided to purchase more dozens each time I went. Within one month, I had successfully accumulated $350. With that money, I went to the nearest community center in my neighborhood, Betty T. Ferguson. I rented a room for two hours and used the rest of the money to print flyers at school and pay for decorations. Through hardcore promotion and advertising around school and on social media, I successfully hosted our first ever mentoring session on June 6, 2015.
After the mentoring session, I decided it would be best to keep the girls active by taking them on to different community service projects. Throughout 2016, we volunteered with several organizations including Feeding South Florida, Chapman Partnership, Hands on Miami, Dania Beach Patch, and Camillus House.
Although I have a deep passion for community service projects, there was still a weight on my heart because I knew I wanted to have more mentoring sessions for the girls. After brainstorming ideas, I decided on a summer conference. The conference would be composed of three components: mentoring sessions, volunteering, and a field trip. I convinced the basketball coach at my school, Dr. Michael Krop Senior High School, to let us use one of the rooms for the sessions. He provided us with the drama room, free of charge.
Every Thursday for four consecutive weeks, we would meet at the school and touch on topics such as confidence, relationships, health and wellness, and finances. Each topic was introduced and discussed with guest speakers from the community including visionary strategist, Geralda Larkins and Founder of Women Empowering Girls, Kimberly Pratt.
2016 Summer Program
June 16 - July 7
The summer program turned out successful but something in me still wasn't satisfied. I felt like there topics we didn't elaborate on enough and the girls weren't completely getting everything the program had to offer. The field trip I promised them never took place because we didn't have the finances to transport 20+ girls anywhere. So I made another attempt in 2017. This time we had to do things differently. We had to not only fulfill all promises but get creative. By this time, I was blessed with my job. I invested $500, created a budget, and got to work. I ordered shirts, flyers, and decorations. And as promised, I covered the transportation expense for our very first field trip to Laser Quest and booked a henna tattoo artist. The summer program had an exceptional turnout.
2017 Summer Program
June 17-July 8
1st field trip
Location: Laser Quest Davie