Empowered Flower Girl founder Rasheda Kamaria shares bullying experiences in Cosmopolitan magazine’s May issue

Rasheda Kamaria, long-time mentor and founder of Empowered Flower Girl LLC, is featured in Cosmopolitan’s May issue in an article highlighting adult women who overcame being bullied and teased as teens.

Rasheda Kamaria as a 7th grader

In the article “Being Bullied Changed My Life,” Rasheda and two other women share how repeated teasing and harassment affected their lives both negatively and positively.

According to a recent poll, 87 percent of Cosmo readers reported being targeted by a bully in the past.

Rasheda, who grew up in Detroit and lives in Royal Oak, Mich., said in spite of being teased as a seventh and eighth grader, she developed into a successful adult. “I have a happy, full life now – a great job and close friends,” she said in the article. “But I hate the idea of kids going through what I endured, so last year, I launched Empowered Flower Girl.”

Empowered Flower Girl produces workshops, literature and clothing that inspire girls to live powerfully. This spring and summer, Rasheda is facilitating “Chica Chat™” workshops to foster positive relationships and combat cliques and cyber bullying among tween and teens girls.

“Chica Chat™ participants have the opportunity to be self expressed, heard and understood by their peers and adult mentors in a supportive, safe and accepting environment,” Rasheda said. “Many teens don’t have this experience at school because of the taunting. It’s our goal to show them that it’s possible to live powerfully even if they’re being picked on and ostracized.”

Check out Cosmo’s May issue with Hayley Williams of Paramore on the cover.

Introducing Cherish Thomas: April’s “Girl Living Powerfully”

When life handed lemons to 23-year-old Cherish Thomas, she didn’t throw a pity party. Instead, she made lemon meringue pie.

To see Cherish now – a beautiful, poised and upbeat young woman – you’d never think that she experienced hardships growing up. But she did.

Cherish grew up in the foster care system and experienced more than 20 placements that included group homes, detention centers, foster homes, the streets and three failed adoptions. Over her lifetime, Cherish attended 14 schools, including five different high schools before graduating. On top of that, she encountered physical abuse and experienced depression after being separated from her siblings.

“I was born into a situation that people would deem be designed to cycle disaster,” Cherish said. “In some forms in my journey it did. However, this disaster would not dictate my future.

Cherish’s life after foster care has been far from disaster. Through perseverance and determination, she mapped out a great life for herself. Cherish is a scholar at the University of Michigan where she is earning a master’s degree. Additionally, Cherish is paying it forward to girls and young women who’ve been in the foster care system. A few years ago, she founded Cherish Our Youth (COY), a mentoring program for girls.

On May 21, COY will host the third annual Girl’s Youth Summit. This year’s theme “From Diamond in the Rough to Princess Cut,” is a true testament of Cherish’s life.

For her achievements, service to youth and resilience, Empowered Flower Girl honors Cherish Thomas as a Girl Living Powerfully.

Check out Cherish Our Youth on Facebook.