Girls to Women is a mentorship program that was started last April by myself, my friend Jaenelle and a group of five other girls. The group aims to empower young girls of color in the urban areas of Springfield. Girls to Women aims to help the girls achieve leadership, facilitate learning through artistic mediums, and promote self-awareness. I am highly passionate about empowering girls, especially minority girls. I was a part of a program similar to this one in high school, it inspired me to give back what I learned.
I am the co-chair and CBL fellow for this program. We agreed as a group to delegate certain tasks, and I was delegated co-chair/fellow. There are currently 8 mentors, and we are working on recruiting more.
Among my goals for the beginning of the semester were to establish a relationship with a high ranking supervisor in the high school, establish a viable transportation method, recruit mentors and mentees, and organize lesson plans. I am definitely able to see a good amount of progress in terms of transportation, establishing relationships, and recruitment. All of my goals are coming along well.
I plan to work on this project through the spring semester. We have not started the program yet because we are still recruiting mentors/mentees, but it should be up and running by the spring semester. My long-term goal for this program is to have a great group of young women becoming life-long mentors to the young girls in Springfield.
Some challenges that I have faced have been the issue of transportation to and from Springfield. The time commitment that is needed for this kind of program has also been a problem, since, as a full-time student, my availability is limited.
So far, I haven’t had to tweak my goals or visions because of the great support that I have on-campus at Mount Holyoke and off-campus in Springfield. Both schools are extremely welcoming and understanding of my vision, and are willing and able to help me achieve my objectives.
I have learned that I need more patience, especially in dealing with the time commitment involved in trying to establish a program from the ground up. It is extremely difficult and time consuming, but I find myself loving what I do even more because of this.