The need for mentors for young girls in K-12 in the Tallahassee community may be at an all-time high.
Places like Dare to Dream Young Girls Network provide young girls with afterschool activities, summer camps, cooking classes and tutoring.
Dare to Dream is a non-profit organization that was founded in 2005 by Kim Ferrell. The organization’s mission is to educate, empower and mentor young girls to dream big and believe the impossible.
Shirley Jean-Pierre, a fourth-year pre-dentistry student has been a mentor at DTDYG for more than two years and says that the experience has been life changing. She said she enjoys every second of it.
“I would not change this experience for anything in the world,” said Jean-Pierre. “I love seeing the smiles on the girls’ faces every time I come in to mentor them. It makes me feel good to know that I am helping change someone’s life and inspiring young girls to reach beyond the stars and follow their dreams.”
But Dare to Dream Young Girls Network is not the only place that offers mentorship. Other organizations like Big Brothers Big Sisters, Girls2Divas and the Boys and Girls Club of the Big Bend provide girls with a place to gain more knowledge and provide them with necessities to thrive in the real world.
CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters, Alva Striplin, says that many of her mentors spend just one hour a week with younger individuals to let them know that somebody is in their corner.
“Sometimes young girls need that support from someone outside of their family and it serves as a reminder that someone is in their corner,” Striplin said. “We know that sometimes they open up to mentors a little bit more than they would others and it helps create a bond very similar to sisterhood.”
The Boys and Girls Club of the Big Bend at Nims Middle School is where a program called “Queens” was birthed. Director Nadaje Pierre initiated this program.
“This program was designed to help young girls with self-esteem issues and to let them know that they are truly queens no matter what anybody else says,” Pierre said. “Our program gives them a sense of empowerment because they are in that age of trying to figure out who they are.”