Our goal is to serve as a conduit for young girls in the community to gain within themselves; social, spiritual, physical and mental insight. Our community partner is Mothers & Crisis, a well respected organization that’s been established in Tallahassee for over ten years. Powerful community leaders in surrounding counties have committed to sit on the board and participate in the success of this program. Concerned parents and collegiate volunteers also participate in carrying out the workshops, fundraisers and events associated with this program. September through April is an intense planning period to ensure that the girls receive the best experience possible! And on the first week of May, the program begins; we meet with the girls three times a week for 2 ½ hours for a total duration of 3 ½ months. The first week is distinctive; on day one is parent orientation, then we introduce the basic modeling techniques, and on the last day of the week we plan a surprise pizza party, where the girls unsuspectingly come into a room filled with blankets, candles, pizza and drinks; and we get comfortable, eat, laugh and bond for the remaining of the practice.
After the first week (the “ice breaker”), the following weeks is where the transformation begins! Girls of all backgrounds are excited to learn modeling techniques that will prepare them for their annual showcase; however, along with the obvious glitz and glimmers of presenting onstage performances, they are also mentally mentored by community leaders and collegiate volunteers who donate their time and efforts to instill principals that the ladies can practice for a lifetime. This goal is reached through workshops on three phases of personal development, financial literacy-which introduces principles on budgeting and investing, career workshops, sex education-that promotes abstinence only (for girls at age appropriate levels) & character education for the younger girls, embracing cultures through dance, nutrition workshop, aerobics classes hosted by professional certified trainers, counseling sessions, a creative learning workshop- were they learn how to make their own jewelry and design their own outfit, and a “Sew a seed, Reap a harvest” clothes drive (where the girls bring (sew) an item and they receive the opportunity to select quality, gently used clothes, shoes, purses and accessories for school).
Every Monday we spend the entire practice preparing for the annual showcase- each scene ministers to the audience, Wednesdays are “Workshop Wednesdays,” where we schedule one of the previously mentioned workshops, and Friday’s are “Hip Hop” aerobics. To ensure effective parent/volunteer communication, meetings are scheduled every second and fourth Fridays during aerobic class. Aside from our active schedule, we have special events that are planned outside of our practice times; such as our Father and Daughter dinner (an awesome semi-formal occasion where the father’s play interactive games with their daughters to challenge their level of relationship and we close with great food and a dynamic speaker). They also have a professional photo shoot; an elite etiquette workshop and a most anticipated “Girls Night Out” weekend get away which includes lavish relaxation at a spa (where we play, learn, laugh, cry and heal in a more intense spiritual atmosphere) are among the many perks that keeps each of the young ladies desperately awaiting the next summer’s arrival. Fundraisers’ consist of selling tickets to our Fashion Show/Award Ceremony and riffle tickets, where we sale $5 tickets for a chance to win a quality electronic gift, and our traditional fundraiser of selling ad/patrons, to encourage the girls, gain program awareness and support from our community businesses.
I value my experiences within my academic, extra curricular activities, outside and work experience, because God use those experiences to prepare me with the skills needed to pursue an education in Business Administration, to operate my own non-profit organization and positively influence the lives of young girls in our community. Now within the 7 years of volunteering my time to the youth, I had no idea of what God was preparing me for; however, I have grown to understand the destiny in which I was being prepared. I believe that I should be considered for this award because I want my life to be a living example of how keeping God first and being persistent will give you the ability to accomplish all that your heart desires; and I desire to complete school and to fur fill my mission in the community without the burden of struggling to accommodate overhead expenses and reimbursing multiple student loans.