Empowered Flower Girl to Host Online Discussion Encouraging Mentors for Girls/Young Women During National Mentoring Month

Empowered Flower Girl is less than a week away from our follow up conversation on Mentoring Girls & Inspiring Sisterhood.

Join us Jan. 31 from 6 to 7 p.m. ET over at www.instagram.com/empoweredflowergirl where we will examine results from Plan International’s State of the World’s Girls report as well as resources to empower girls/young women and gender-expansive youth.

We will also share details about our She’s EmPOWERed program honoring female-identifying changemakers, nonprofit founders, social entrepreneurs and others using their gifts and talents to bring joy to others.

Empowered Flower Girl Founder and Chief Empowering Officer Rasheda Kamaria Williams will address the top challenges facing 21st century children and teens well as what parents, educators and other youth advocates can do to support young people in these difficult times.

“The past few years have been tough on everyone. But it’s been especially tough on young people. Now is the time for us to come together and support the next generation,” said Williams, a mentoring consultant and empowerment speaker. “We are dedicated to helping girls and youth of all backgrounds grow into strong, confident and contributing members of society. They just need positive role models and resources to succeed.”

One other resource that Empowered Flower Girl offers is Girl World Peace Academy – a virtual course and coaching program for adults who aspire to make a difference for young people in their schools and communities.

Girl World Peace Academy provides participants with the skills, tools and knowledge necessary to become effective mentors and role models for girls/ young women and gender-expansive youth. Through the course and 1:1 coaching, participants learn how to support and empower 21st century children and teens to reach their full potential.

“We believe that every young person deserves to be surrounded by positive, caring adults who can help them navigate the challenges of growing up,” Williams said.

Enrollment is currently open for the course.

Girl World Peace Academy Investment:
The course is valued at $897 but Empowered Flower Girl is offering it for only $297. Enroll by Jan. 31 to receive and additional 30-minute coaching session.

She’s EmPOWERed: Calgary student’s gesture to help friends grows into nonprofit providing essential support to the community

When times get hard, people often find themselves in need of help. Sometimes, that help comes from strangers but other times it comes from supportive friends.

Meet Deep Braich – a friend on a mission to help those in need.

Deep, a 20-year-old university student from Calgary, Alberta, is the founder of Youth Helping Youth YYC. She started the organization at the height of the pandemic to provide much needed hygiene supplies to young people in her community.

“When the Covid lockdown was first announced, my classmates and I were doing our best to stay in touch with one another through social media because we all felt the drastic toll it had on our relationships with one another,” she said. “We shared with one another the problems we were having with families losing jobs, having an increase in financial difficulty because the university was going to start in the fall, and my female friends being unable to access feminine hygiene products because of financial difficulty, the inability to leave the home, and many more concerns.”

After hearing about the issues her friends and other associates were facing, Deep wanted to do her best to help. She started looking for any extra hygiene products like shampoos, pads, and tampons that she had at home and started packaging them up into brown paper lunch bags to keep them discrete.

“I would leave the package outside my front door and my friends would come to pick it up to take home,” she added. “The number of friends I was helping started to increase when those I had helped started telling their friends that this was something I was doing. Slowly people from all over Calgary – teenage and adult women – reached out because they were in need.”

Deep was initially funding the project with her own savings and the money she earned from babysitting and a summer job. But she needed more resources to meet the need in her community.

After receiving some local and even international media coverage about the project and the selfless work she was doing, Deep started receiving messages from people asking how they could donate. “Suddenly the project I had started to create a difference amongst my friends became a project to create a difference amongst my city,” she said. “ When organizations like the Women’s Shelter began to reach out to access feminine hygiene kits, I became more aware of the structure of our society and the people at the bottom of the economic triangle who are in need of hygiene products year-round, even more now because of Covid.”

Youth Helping Youth YYC was founded as a result.

What started as a thoughtful gesture to help friends has become an official nonprofit operating under Youth Helping Youth Alberta, an umbrella organization for Youth Helping Youth YYC.

“We started local with the YYC title and we wanted to provide support to more youth communities, therefore we registered ourselves as Youth Helping Youth Alberta Foundation to provide opportunities to establish smaller umbrella organizations in other cities,” Deep said.

To date, the organization has provided over 2,075 feminine hygiene kits to women in Calgary and parts of Alberta. The organization works with local emergency shelters as well as housing and youth organizations. It also offers mental health, anti-bullying and anti-racism workshops.

Youth Helping Youth is youth-run in all facets – from projects, ideas and planning to communications, social media and networking.

“We work together to build solutions to youth social issues and advocate for our fellow youth,” Deep noted. “We find that youth issues are often put aside and we want to bring the spotlight back on this community for politicians to recognize the support and resources our youth need.”

Deep is a true advocate with big aspirations. After completing her undergraduate studies, she plans to go to law school and become a lawyer while also continuing her work in the community.

Connect with Youth Helping Youth YYC:

Instagram

Facebook

Email: calgaryyouthhelp@gmail.com

Teach Your Child Money Lessons With These Invaluable Tips

By Laura Pearson

Teaching children how to be financially responsible is a big job, but if you start early, you can give them the tools they need to make good decisions for the rest of their lives. These days, there are many resources available that will help you and your child tackle financial literacy – from board games to phone software to online learning tools. Not only that, you can work in lessons on your own while you’re grocery shopping or setting up an allowance.

Keeping the conversation about money open with your kids is a great way to show them real-life examples, especially when you’re about to make a big purchase, such as a home. Talk to your kids about the process of home-buying and why it’s so beneficial for a long-term financial plan.

Include Your Children in the Process

When it comes to buying a house, including the entire family in the process will open up the conversation about what goes into financing, how to build up good credit and create some security for the future, and how to handle buying and selling according to what the market is like.

Talk to older kids about how the market either favors buyers or sellers and how the local economy affects a seller’s ability to attract potential buyers. Other factors include the season, how many homes are currently for sale in a given area, and current interest rates. Because there are so many details that go into buying or selling a home, involving your kids in the process now will help them understand it a bit better when they’re ready to do so on their own.

Let Them Shop with You

Handling big financial decisions as a family—such as buying a home—is a great way to teach young people about how it all works, but you can do it on a smaller scale as well. Going grocery shopping for the week is an excellent opportunity to teach your kids about the importance of a budget and how to stick to it, so write out a list and allow them to help you figure out how to plan for meals within the amount you want to spend. This real-life experience is invaluable for kids of many different ages.

Look for Fun, Money-Related Games

Another way to get in real-life experience with finances is to find cash-related games your kids will enjoy, such as Monopoly, Pay Day, or The Game Of Life, and play them as a family. You can also use real money and play your own games at home, allowing your child to become a banker or business owner who must give you change after a “purchase.” Talk to your kids about sales tax and how to plan for purchases, especially if they’re old enough to receive an allowance.

Let Them Take Responsibility with Credit

It can be daunting to hand over financial responsibility to your children, but setting up an allowance offers a great learning opportunity where saving and spending are concerned. You might even consider looking for a kid-friendly credit or debit card that allows you to load a certain amount, or setting up a checking or savings account in your child’s name. Additionally, you can use this opportunity to teach your children about credit scores and reports, how they work, and the importance of maintaining a good score — which can help you when it’s time to purchase that new home. This type of financial literacy is crucial to learn as kids get older, but starting early will help them see the value of money now.

Guide Them Through Long-Term Planning

As your kids age, it’s important to guide them through the process of making long-term plans and executing them. Having a sound financial plan is important for any path in life, but if your child has college aspirations, they need a sound plan for that as well. Begin the process of developing those plans with your children as they enter high school, and help them adjust as necessary through graduation and beyond.

Teach Them About Starting a Business

 When teaching your kids about starting a new company, there are a few key steps that you should focus on. The first is to help them write a solid business plan. This should include information on their target audience, their marketing strategies, and their budgetary needs for things like supplies and startup fees. It’s also important to discuss the importance of networking and connecting with other entrepreneurs, as this can be a valuable way to gain support and advice as they start out in the world of business. Finally, you should work with your child to identify any potential roadblocks or challenges that they might encounter along the way.

Teaching young people how to handle money and credit is a process that will help everyone in your family learn about the importance of being responsible. Utilize online resources when possible, help them develop long-term plans, teach them about starting a business, and keep the conversation about money open so you can answer any questions your children have.

Empowered Flower Girl strives to help positively strengthen the relationships between young people and those who care about them. Be sure to spend some time exploring the site to learn more about what we do.

Laura Pearson, of Edutude, is passionate about teaching the younger generation. Edutude was built to share resources on how to keep children engaged and in love with learning.

Mentors Urgently Needed: You can make a life-changing difference for youth

January is National Mentoring Month

According to MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership, 1 in 3 young people will grow up without having a mentor. This means that they may face growing and developing without positive resources and reinforcement outside of the home. 

Life-changing impact

Mentoring has the potential to profoundly transform the lives of young people in our communities. By providing guidance and support, mentors are able to open up new opportunities and broaden horizons for their mentees. However, despite this potential, mentors are still urgently needed in many areas across the country.

Learn why mentorship is so important and how you can help make a difference in the lives of young people today.

What is mentoring?

Mentoring is a process whereby an experienced individual provides guidance, support and advice to a less experienced person. The aim of mentoring is to help the mentee develop their skills, knowledge and confidence so that they can reach their full potential. 

Mentors can come from any walk of life and don’t necessarily have to be in the same field as their mentee. What’s important is that they have experience and knowledge that the mentee can benefit from. A mentor relationship is built on trust and mutual respect, and should be entered into willingly by both parties. 

Mentoring can take many different forms, but typically involves meeting on a regular basis (either in person or virtually) to chat, offer advice and support, and answer any questions the mentee might have. The frequency and length of meetings will vary depending on the needs of the individual involved. 

If you’re interested in becoming a mentor, there are many organizations that can connect you with someone who would benefit from your time and expertise. Alternatively, you may know someone in your personal or professional life who could benefit from having a mentor – if so, why not reach out and see if they’d be interested in starting a mentoring relationship with you?

Long-lasting impact

A mentor can provide guidance, support and advice that can help a young person make good choices and achieve their goals. Mentoring is an important part of helping young people grow and develop into successful adults by:

  • Raising aspirations and confidence
  • Developing new skills
  • Overcoming adversity and setbacks
  • Achieving potential

Mentors can play a vital role in supporting young people through difficult times and helping them to progress towards their goals. 

Read: How Mentorship Supports Young People in Difficult Times

Become a mentor today!

It takes a special person to be a mentor. One who can give of their time, energy and resources to help another individual grow and develop into their best self. If you have the passion and commitment to make a difference in the life of a young person, then becoming a mentor may be the perfect opportunity for you. You can do it!

Still a little unsure? Here are a few tips on how to get started with mentoring:

  • Determine what type of mentoring you would like to do. There are many different types of mentoring programs available, so it is important to decide which one is right for you. Do you want to work with children, teens or young adults? Would you prefer one-on-one mentoring or group mentoring?
  • Consider your skills and experience. Do you have expertise in a particular field that could benefit your mentee? Are you good at listening and providing support? Think about what assets you can bring to the table as a mentor.
  • Complete any necessary training or certification. Some mentoring programs may require you to complete specific training before becoming a mentor. Others may provide training as part of the program itself.
  • Sign up to receive Empowered Flower Girl’s FREE Mentoring Guide to learn how you can fit mentoring into your busy schedule.

Funding for Your Impact Ideas and Initiatives in 2023

Do you have ideas or established initiatives with potential to make a powerful, positive impact? Could you use a little help to make it happen? There are resources to help individuals and organizations doing good in their communities and beyond.

In the spirit of the Be the Impact Summit, Empowered Flower Girl is continuing to share funding opportunities for young changemakers as well as community organizations.

Here are a couple funding opportunities worth exploring:

New York Life Foundation’s Aim High Grant for Middle School Programs 

http://www.afterschoolalliance.org/awards.cfm

New York Life Foundation will make 40 grants to out-of-school time programs serving youth, specifically middle schoolers, through its Aim High grant program. The program is part of the company’s ongoing investment in middle school OST programs to help eighth-graders reach ninth grade on track and on time. One- and two-year grants are available. Applications are due February 1, 2023 at 5 p.m. ET.

Pace e Bene Changemaker Youth Grants 

https://paceebene.org/changemaker-grants

Pace e Bene is thrilled to announce a second round of Changemaker Youth Grants! Youth ages 12-23 can receive up to $1,000 for projects that provide a creative solution that addresses violence in their community. These projects can be creative, artistic, out-of-the-box ideas. Ideally, they advance a nonviolent solution or alternative to the problem. 

“The Changemaker Youth Grants are about supporting the brilliant and wise ideas that young people have for addressing violence in our communities,” said Rivera Sun, Pace e Bene program coordinator. “With creativity and out-of-the-box thinking, these projects offer hope, inspiration, and tangible change. We were blown away by the 2022 recipients, and can’t wait to see what this year’s applicants dream up.” 

Applications are due on Feb 10, 2023. Awards will be announced by Feb 20. Projects will be completed by June 1, 2023. All recipients must be available to attend a virtual Final Showcase in June. 

She’s EmPOWERed: Eight-year-old Savannah girl sends message of hope with “happy bags” for the homeless

It is estimated that more than half a million people in the United States are experiencing homelessness. 

While riding along with her mom in their Savannah, Ga. neighborhood, five-year-old Bethany Moultry witnessed people in her community without a place to call home. 

“We were running errands when we pulled up to a stop sign and Bethany saw a man holding a sign asking for help,” said Bethany’s mom, Colleen Moultry. “She cried and asked me if she could break open her piggy bank and give him all of her money.”

That encounter three years ago triggered something in little Bethany that inspired her to move from empathy to action. As a result, she founded Bethany’s Happy Bags for the Homeless.

The “happy bags” are gallon-sized bags chock-full of necessities like personal hygiene items, food, water or juice, utensils and homemade first aid kits. Some may also include items such as hand warmers, gloves, hats, emergency blankets, sun screen, bug repellent and more, but all are packed with hope and a hand-written note of encouragement. 

“I want every person experiencing homelessness to know that I see you and I care,” said Bethany, now 8 years old.

Since launching, Bethany’s Happy Bags for the Homeless has assembled and distributed more than 4,700 bags! 

“From what we have been told by our neighbors experiencing homelessness as well as from our partner agencies, her Happy Bags have literally saved lives,” Colleen said. 

The bags are distributed in Savannah through various channels. Partners like the Savannah Police Dept, Chatham-Savannah Authority for the Homeless as well as several churches and shelters distribute the bags to some of the most vulnerable in the city. 

The work is expanding as the team has begun making bags to distribute in the Hudson Valley area of New York where some of Bethany’s extended family lives. 

In the future, Bethany plans to continue her mission to not only assist her neighbors who are experiencing homelessness, but her main goal to END homelessness. She would like to create an organization that assists with safe, long-term housing, offers mental health services and job training. 

With her passion, empathy and dedication, Bethany is definitely on the path to making this a reality. 

Learn more about Bethany’s Happy Bags for the Homeless at www.bethanyshappybags.com.

Connect with Bethany and her team via social media:

Facebook

Instagram

Tiktok

Raising Healthy Children: How to Set Your Kids Up for Success

By Joyce Wilson

Parents fill various roles in their children’s lives. In particular, they serve as caretakers, role models, and protectors. According to the experts, one of the most important jobs parents have is to help their children make healthy choices in order to prepare them for adulthood. Here are some ideas from Empowered Flower Girl that can help you begin making those important lifestyle decisions.

Learn the Importance of Healthy Habits

If you want your kids to grow healthy and happy, teach them how to maintain their health. When you focus on healthy habits, you reduce their risk of future conditions like high blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol.

For children to maintain ideal body weight, they need to be able to distinguish between healthy and unhealthy food choices. In addition, teach them about hygiene and expiration dates. After all, spoiled food can wreak havoc on the body. When you understand the importance of health, whether the health comes from diet or exercise – including the many benefits of martial arts – you can instill those habits in your children.

Instill Healthy Habits Early

To make healthy eating a priority, stock up on fresh, unprocessed at-home snacks. If you only have nutritious snacks available, children cannot choose to drink sugary soda or eat snack cakes. Instead, keep pretzels, fresh fruit, bagels, and sparkling water at home. Children begin to develop their sense of taste in the first two years of their life. Providing reduced-sodium snacks to toddlers may help them develop preferences for foods with less salt.

Children model themselves after you. They observe your habits and your ability to handle stress and coping mechanisms. For instance, if children see an adult becoming aggressive, they too may react aggressively. When paving the way for better decisions, do not be overbearing and restrictive, because you could encourage eating disorders. Instead, be the example for your kids.

It’s important for your children to see you engage in healthy friendships, too, so invite friends over to the house sometimes and be transparent about minor conflicts in a kid-appropriate way. You can also show them the importance of reconnecting with friends by finding old high school friends online. It’s a simple process of entering your location and searching through databases for familiar names. Reconnecting with friends from your past can be a lot of fun and show your kids how to find people they enjoy being with.

Make Success Attainable

Be open to talking to your kids about good and bad habits. Talk to them if you worry about gaming, drugs, alcohol, or poor education habits. Hold family dinners where you can discuss your day and model good behavior while discussing the risks associated with unhealthy choices. Starting these practices while your kids are young will help them feel more comfortable talking to you about bigger issues, like bullies or conflicts with friends. Empowered Flower Girl offers tools and resources to help both you and your child learn how to deal with these difficult situations in healthy ways.

Set good examples for your kids with your choices as well as your behavior.

In addition, talk to them about how they can achieve their dreams. It is never too early to discuss future aspirations. Teach your children to practice a skill every day and, when they experience failure, to get up and keep trying.

Do not forget to chase dreams of your own. This could involve starting a business centered around a hobby that you enjoy; be sure to do plenty of research to ensure that you’re putting together everything you need to get this venture started on solid ground. Or, join the countless parents and older adults who return to school to finish or start a degree. With all of the obligations of parenthood, you may enjoy the flexibility of online schools. Online degrees can match your passions and interests. The following ideas can narrow down your options:

  • To learn more about data analytics, cyber security, and information technology, choose a degree in IT.
  • To find occupations in management positions or start a business of your own, look into business management degrees.
  • A degree in education may not only launch your career but help you become an effective teacher to your children.

When your children learn to make healthy choices, they maintain those decisions throughout their lives. Developing new habits as an adult can be challenging, but not only can you make a positive change in your life, you can establish a healthy foundation for your children.

Remember to chase after things you love, too, and to make use of helpful resources like Empowered Flower Girl to help you and your child learn ways to work through difficult situations in life.

Joyce Wilson is a retired teacher and enjoys sharing lesson plans, resources, and teaching tips on Teacher Spark. Her website is a compilation of practical resources that will inspire student engagement and instill a love for learning. By tapping into a student’s natural creativity and curiosity, Joyce believes that they can take their education to a new level.

 

She’s EmPOWERed: Maryland Teen Inspires Youth to Serve with Small Things Matter Organization

For as long as she can remember, Lana Anderson has been involved in her community. As a preschooler, she would make crafts for children as part of the National Institute of Health’s Thoughtful Treasures program. And as a middle school student, she was an active member of her school’s Difference Makers service club.

Those experiences fueled her passion for giving back. And now at 18, she continues to serve and encourage others through her nonprofit, Small Things Matter (STM).

“I started Small Things Matter as a way to empower younger children to serve and create lifelong habits of giving back,” said Lana, who is currently studying biology at the University of Maryland. “Our motto is kid-powered kindness for those in need.”

Small Things Make a Big Difference

Small Things Matter hosts several events and initiatives under three programs: a food distribution program, a literacy program and a crafting for charity program.

Through its food distribution program, STM provides nutritious grocery items to over 1,000 local families each month, totaling about 1 million pounds of food each year. “These fresh produce, dairy and nonperishable items allow families to feed their children healthy, delicious, high-quality meals,” Lana noted.

The Books for Bedtime literacy program provides new books to underserved children and their families in an effort to build a strong educational foundation.

Crafting for Charity gives children of all ages and abilities the opportunity to share their talents with those in need at children’s hospitals, shelters, etc.

Through these projects, STM hopes to nourish children’s bodies, minds and spirits and motivate youth of all ages to give back.

Lana’s work with Small Things Matter has been recognized by numerous government agencies as well as national organizations and businesses.

Thank you, Lana, for all you do to help improve the quality of life for others while being a positive role model for youth!

To learn more about Small Things Matter, visit www.smallthingsmatter.org.

Follow Small Things Matter on Facebook.

Youth Power Panel, Generational Givers highlight of 2022 Be the Impact Summit

Empowered Flower Girl’s 2022 Be the Impact Summit welcomed youth and adult participants from the US, Canada and the UK on Saturday, October 8. The virtual event showcased young changemakers and social entrepreneurs as well as provided resources for those aspiring to make a difference in their communities. 

The summit kicked off with a video presentation featuring the Generational Givers – youth enrolled in Take My Hand’s community outreach and volunteer program. 

Four young social entrepreneurs and nonprofit founders – from Washington and Texas to Georgia – shared their impact stories and offered tips to the audience on how to get started in service as well as how to find resources to support your endeavors. 

Rasheda Kamaria Williams, chief empowering officer for Empowered Flower Girl, hosted the event and facilitated the “Passion. Purpose. Profession” workshop and discussion which offered tips for youth to be strategic about their community service. Tia Russell, founder of Detroit-based nonprofit Take My Hand, joined the conversation highlighting her organization’s Generational Givers program. 

Participants also learned about the numerous funding, fellowship and recognition opportunities available through Youth Service America. Nikki Liles, YSA director of partnerships, shared information about programs like the Hershey Heartwarming Young Heroes Grants and the Everyday Young Hero Awards. 

The event concluded with the Impact Ideas and She’s EmPOWERed alumni giveaways. Esha Aggarwal of Illinois and Cassidy Conley of Michigan were selected to each receive a $250 e-gift card. 

The 2022 Be the Impact Summit was sponsored by the Consulate General of Israel to the Midwest. Empowered Flower Girl was one of three Detroit-area organizations/social enterprises to receive a Social Impact Grant from the Consulate in June. The event was produced by coordinating sponsor Foundation Management LLC

VIEW SUMMIT RECORDING:

https://youtu.be/rIL5FTzvLuM

She’s EmPOWERed: Third Grader’s Passion for the Planet Inspires Environmental Justice-Themed Book

Around the world, governments are trying to figure out how to solve the most pressing environmental issues – from air and water pollution to global warming and sea level rise. 

So, what on earth can we do to fix these problems? It may seem overwhelming but the first thing to do is something! 

Meet Aahna Rangnath – an eight year old from California deeply committed to environmental justice. She is an elementary school student who is doing something! Aahna is on a mission to motivate kids to help transform the environment. 

The aspiring author is working on publishing her first book entitled Green Girls.

The book follows a group of three friends who find a magic portal in Hawaii and travel around the world to save the planet.

Aahna, who is of Asian Indian descent, wanted to make sure that the characters in her book reflect the girls in her community. “There are not that many books about girls with brown skin so I made sure all my characters had brown skin, she said. “I want people to know that young girls can be powerful.”

Girls are indeed powerful and have the potential to create world-wide change. 

According to a report from the National Democratic Institute, gender equality is a vital component of climate justice. “Women and girls are, and will continue to be, more vulnerable to the effects of climate change and environmental degradation,” the report stated. 

More women and girls are needed to hold leadership positions and be at the center of environmental activism and governance. 

Aahna is well on her way. When she grows up, she wants to be a scientist. “I want to be a dog scientist because I love my dog and I love science. I do a lot of science projects and I really enjoy them,” she explained.“ I also like doing science projects about water conservation.”

Good luck Aahna. We can’t wait to get our copy of Green Girls