Blog

She’s EmPOWERed: Meet Kaci Houston – Model, Rapper, Influencer and Superstar in the Making

At 10 years old, Kaci Houston is a mini mogul. The multi-talented Detroit tween is not only a rapper, actress and social media influencer, she’s also a positive (role) model for youth and adults alike. 

As the co-founder of K.T.M. Entertainment, Kaci uses her talents to inspire kids to pursue their passions while addressing social issues that impact their lives. 

“I was motivated to start my business because I found that kids just don’t have a lot of places in the entertainment industry to be creative and work with their peers, so I created just that,” Kaci said. 

“We are helping uplift the youth in our community with the arts and bringing awareness to issues that affect them.”

Kaci has taken her empowering messages on the road, performing at various events across the country and working with organizations like the Boys and Girls Club. 

In addition to her work with K.T.M. Entertainment, she also is the CEO of Kolours By Kaci the Model.

The young fashionista has been sashaying runways since she could walk and striking poses since she was an infant. 

But with all of the fame – she has well over 110K followers on Instagram – Kaci remains grounded. She is an anti-bullying advocate and encourages youth to follow their dreams. Her advice: “Go for it. The sky is your limit. It’s a hard work, but never give up.”

You can follow Kaci on Instagram at @kacithemodel.

She’s EmPOWERed: Miss Indiana Hopeful Helping Girls Stand Up to Bullying

At first glance, you can sense that there’s something special about Elayna Hasty. She’s confident, beautiful and poised. But you’d never know that once upon a time, the Miss Indiana hopeful and aspiring Miss America was teased and excluded as a kid.

“I was the new girl in school,” recalls Elayna, who is now 20 years old. “As soon as I walked into my homeroom, I was laughed at and mocked for something so simple as forgetting my gym shoes on the first day. That was only the beginning and it only got worse for me, as well as for one of my childhood friends.”

Elayna, like many young people, was bullied. But through it all, she learned many important lessons. Those lessons inspired her to create G.A.B. Girls (Girls Against Bullying).

She started the program in 2009 when she was only 9 years old. A decade later, she continues to run G.A.B. Girls, which is a movement that teaches people of all ages the importance of being a leader by standing up to bullying.

“We are a community of support as we encourage co-action, healthy self-esteem, and promote anti-bullying as well as suicide prevention,” Elayna said. “My motivation for founding G.A.B. Girls was to help my friend who was going through bullying and to empower others to stand up – not just for themselves – but others as well.”

In addition to running G.A.B. Girls, Elayna is a college student and reigning Miss Duneland 2022. The Miss Duneland competition is an official preliminary to the Miss America and Miss America’s Outstanding Teen competitions.

Once she graduates with a bachelor’s degree, Elayna plans to attend law school. Her ultimate goal is to be a family attorney who works to help children who come from abusive households.

“I plan to continue G.A.B. Girls by furthering my reach nationally, as well as create more workshops tailored towards cyberbullying and suicide prevention,” she said.

Kudos to Elayna for using her platform to speak up and out against bullying. We wish her much success in her career and as she aims for the crowns!

Follow Elayna’s journey at:

Instagram: @g.a.b.girls
Facebook: G.A.B. Girls (Girls Against Bullying Girls)
Website: www.gabgirls.org

She’s EmPOWERed: Seven-year-old Arlington author and entertainer uses creativity to educate and inspire kids around the world

Zoey Robinson is a seven-year-old girl on a mission to spread joy and creativity around the world. As a children’s book author, entertainer and kidpreneur, she’s using her gifts and talents to inspire others.

A Star is Born
If you visit her YouTube channel, you’ll quickly see why Zoey is a rising star. Her bright smile and enthusiasm will not only melt your heart but also motivate you to learn.

As the host of Zoey TV, Zoey uses her creativity to encourage kids to follow their dreams while promoting literacy.

Her very first feature – an anti-bullying challenge video – was filmed and published when Zoey was just a year old. A year later, she expressed her desire to be on YouTube. Her mom, Kesha, followed through with the request after watching Zoey re-enact her own show segments.

“I’m inspired most by Zoey’s confidence, her positive attitude and her ability to dream big without limitations,” said Kesha Robinson, Zoey’s mother.

Kesha, who’s also an entrepreneur and author, believes that parents can best support their children in following their dreams by being their biggest cheerleader and finding programs and activities that would help cultivate their gifts and talents.

The Future is Bright
Zoey has not only become an exceptional actress, but a phenomenal dancer, and model as well. She has been featured nationally and internationally in magazines as well as radio shows.

She is an established author as well. From “Zoey’s Book of Manners” to “Zoey’s Book of Affirmations,” Zoey has an impressive catalog of books that empower and educate.

In the future, Zoey plans to continue creating and promoting more books and businesses. With her drive and talent, we’re sure she’ll make it happen!

You can follow Zoey on Instagram and YouTube at @zoey_tv.

Empowered Flower Girl founder named to MentHer’s Top 20 Social Impact Founders List

IMG-20211216-WA0003Rasheda Kamaria Williams, chief empowering officer and founder of Empowered Flower Girl, has been named among MentHer magazine’sTop 20 Social Impact Founders.” Rasheda joins 19 other women around the globe named to the first annual list featured in the December issue of MentHer magazine, themed “Make Your Mark.”

The announcement was made during MentHer’s virtual Social Impact Summit on Dec. 16. 

“While attending the summit, I was surprised and honored to learn that I made the top 20 list,” Rasheda said. “The women on this list are doing some incredible work across the globe. I was shocked, yet humbled to be included. Empowered women empower women and work to help others realize their power to create change.”

The MentHer organization and magazine were founded by Ntsiki Mkhize, a South African social entrepreneur, author and model. The Social Impact Founder’s List, celebrates female founders making an impact through their business or non-profit. The 20 finalists collectively represent a combined 90 years of social impact work, over 140 jobs created, more than $14 million in annual revenue or grant funding and over 171,000 lives impacted.

About Empowered Flower Girl

Empowered Flower Girl is a social enterprise on a mission to transform the way young people relate to one another and themselves. The company provides resources and tools to help youth and youth advocates live above life’s drama (from cyberbullying to societal pressure) and make a powerful difference in the world. 

View or download the magazine here

She’s EmPOWERed: Katie’s Krops founder planting seeds of inspiration for youth

Sometimes the seeds of inspiration don’t take root until we’re older. But not for Katie Stagliano of South Carolina. She discovered her calling at just nine years old when she received a cabbage seedling from the Bonnie Plants Third Grade Cabbage Program. 

“I planted my seedling in my backyard. Every day I would come out with the watering can and water it.” she said. “I would fertilize the cabbage and weed around it. My family and I watched it grow and grow and grow in size.”

When her cabbage was fully grown, it weighed an astounding 40 pounds.

And just as her consistent care for the seedling sprouted a magnificent cabbage, it also sprouted a genuine interest in helping others. 

“In May of 2008, my family and I brought my cabbage to Tri-County Family Ministries. When I walked in, I saw a huge line of people waiting for what might be the only meal they would have that day,” she recalled. “The guests greeted me and asked if I grew the giant cabbage. When it was time to serve my cabbage to the guests, they thanked me for helping to feed them. My one cabbage helped to feed 275 people. 

After seeing how many people her one cabbage could feed, Katie thought about how many people can be fed from a full garden. 

And that was the inspiration for Katie’s Krops!

The mission of Katie’s Krops is to empower youth to start vegetable gardens and donate the produce to those in need, as well as inspire others to do the same.

“I started with a garden at my home, then my school but I quickly realized that the larger the gardens, the more gardens, the bigger the impact I could have on hunger. I decided to start supporting other youth to start their own Katie’s Krops garden ten years ago,” she added. 

Along with the fresh vegetables, the organization provides hot, healthy, and free garden-to-table meals at Katie’s Krops Dinners, where youth prepare and serve the dinners. 

Over the past 12 years, Katie’s Krops has donated more than 500,000 pounds of fresh produce to help people struggling with hunger and food insecurity across the United States and has served over 30,000 free meals.

Katies KropsGrowing Aspirations

In May of 2020, Katie graduated from the College of Charleston with a degree in communications. And now at 23 years old, she operates Katie’s Krops full time. She aspires to expand the organization to have gardens in all 50 states and empower even more youth to grow a healthy end to hunger. 

“Overall, the goal of Katie’s Krops is to end hunger. I know that can be seen as a lofty goal, but working together, we can make a difference, one vegetable garden at a time,” she said.

Katie’s Krops Grower Grants Available: Apply by December 31, 2021

Kids ages 7-16 in the U.S. can apply to become a Katie’s Krops Grower and help end hunger in their community by starting a vegetable garden. Grantees receive an all-inclusive grower box, complete with everything necessary to start their own garden. Learn more and apply at www.KatiesKrops.com.

Keep up with Katie via social media:

Facebook: Katie’s Krops

Instagram: Katie’s Krops

Twitter: Katie’s Krops

Atlanta tween co-writes book to help boost girls’ self-esteem

Research suggests that many girls’ confidence takes a nosedive as early as eight years old. A 2018 poll found that their confidence drops by 30% from ages 8 to 14. It’s no surprise when many look to social media apps for likes and validation.

So what can we do to help boost girls’ self-esteem? Eight-year-old Lianna Dozier has some ideas. 

The Atlanta tween wrote a children’s book entitled Don’t Call Me Pretty

“I wanted to write a book for girls my own age, so they would love themselves and not go through bad things in life,” she said. “I started talking to my mom about things that bother me and things that make me insecure. I also asked her questions about what her life was like and how she felt as a little girl.”

So she and her mother, Lisamarie Thomas, co-wrote the book which helps girls “look at themselves in a good way instead of comparing themselves to everyone else.”

When I Grow Up

Even though she’s only eight, the  young author has big aspirations for her book and herself. 

She hopes to start an after-school program and charity for young girls to show them how to believe in themselves, even when they don’t. 

“I think that young children everywhere would love to have another child read a story that they wrote and speak to them on these things,” Lianna said. “I know that I am just a child but I think this is important. So I would like to help.” 

When she grows up, Lianna would like to be a doctor who helps kids. “I would like to become a child psychologist when I graduate from college. I have always wanted to help other kids and I believe that everyone can be a better person if they have someone to help them,” she added. 

Kudos to Lianna for taking a stand for girls and showing them that even in a world where beauty seems to be most important, they can challenge the status quo.

Follow Lianna and Lisamarie on Instagram at @Lisamarie _The_Author.

Don’t Call Me Pretty, by Lianna and Lisamarie

Girl World Peace Academy gives youth advocates tips, tools and templates to engage and empower girls

Countless articles, polls and reports have shown that girls are being adversely impacted by digital harassment and cyberbullying. Additionally, a 2020 study revealed that we are in the middle of a teen mental health crisis – and girls are at its epicenter.

Now is the time for us to come together to help our girls. 

You may have been thinking of launching a girls mentoring program or youth-focused nonprofit but not sure where to start or how to engage students. 

Or perhaps you already have an established program but need additional help and resources to grab the attention of potential participants, media and funders.

If either of these describe you, consider Empowered Flower Girl’s Girl World Peace Academy! 

“Our course graduates are making an impact and a difference in their communities,” said Rasheda Kamaria Williams, EFG chief empowering officer and founder. “Our girls need positive role models, mentors and advocates. They need women like you.”

Make a Difference this Year!

Girl World Peace Academy is a self-guided online course + coaching for youth advocates of all backgrounds – from teachers and counselors to after-school program professionals and mentors.

This course is especially for you if:

  • You aspire to make a difference in the lives of girls and young women. 
  • Girls in your school or community face social or emotional challenges (bullying, peer pressure, trauma, etc.) that impact their ability to thrive.
  • You seek empowering and interactive tools and content that complement your current or future SEL, prevention or after-school programming.
  • You can use help getting the word out about the good you’re doing (to media, sponsors and potential participants)

Questions about the course or general questions about the youth empowerment space? Book a free discovery call with Rasheda. 

Enroll at https://rashedakamaria.com/girlworldpeace.

.

Got Fall/Winter Travel Plans? Here are Tips for a Fun and Safe Family Vacation

By Joyce Wilson

School breaks give your family a chance to spend time together and bond. Like many families, you may choose to plan a vacation; however, with the ongoing pandemic, many of the family vacation plans you love may no longer be available. This situation may leave you wondering how best to spend your vacation as a family.

Empowered Flower Girl suggests some indoor and outdoor family vacation activities, some COVID-safe travel options, and how to stay safe during your family vacation.

Indoor and Outdoor Family Vacation Activities

Regardless of your family size, there are many fun activities you can do as a family during your vacation. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Do some gardening together as a family
  • Play hide and seek
  • Build a homemade treehouse or swing set
  • Play mini-golf with the older children
  • Consider attending dance classes together
  • Go hiking or biking together

Family vacation indoor activities include:

  • Playing board games
  • Going to the gym
  • Arranging indoor gardening activities

Family Vacation COVID-19 Safety Tips

Keeping your family safe during your vacation is a challenge this year due to the ongoing pandemic. According to federal experts, you can travel if you’re fully vaccinated, but you still need to take some precautions. They don’t recommend non-essential travel for unvaccinated people.

If you choose to travel for your family vacation, the following steps may lower travel-related risks.

  • Ensure anyone you plan to visit has received the COVID-19 vaccine if they’re eligible.
  • Check the COVID-19 community spread rates of the places you plan to visit.
  • Make sure everyone you travel with wears a mask when you use public transportation.
  • If you must fly, try to take direct flights.
  • Pack extra sanitizers and masks.

Likewise, consider the following pandemic-friendly family vacation travel options.

  • Limit interactions by staying at a private vacation home rental.
  • Go for a socially distant family road trip in an RV.
  • Go camping at a remote location.
  • If possible, travel by car.

As you plan your family vacation, keep in mind that the pandemic is not over. Even if you take the proper precautions, traveling involves significant risk during this period.

Install a Fence Around Your Property

One of the most important safety measures during a family staycation is fencing around your property, and it’s best done by a contractor. Search for a fencing company nearby before selecting one and read customer reviews online.

Cost is among the important factors to consider when comparing contractors. The cost of installing a new fence can vary depending on materials used, fence size, and the location of the installation. As with all projects that require digging, safety is a priority. You should make sure that the contractor is aware of any underground utility lines on your property.

Have Fun and Stay Safe

The ongoing pandemic has limited the number of options available for family vacations, especially those that involve coming into contact with the public. Thankfully, there are still many activities that you can still do both indoors and outdoors, and the insights in this article will help you have a fun and safe family vacation.

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: Meet the 15-year-old political journalist challenging bias in the media

For many people, finding your passion and purpose can take several years or even several decades. But not for Cassidy Conley. At only 15 years old, she is already making her mark as a political journalist. 

From copywriting in the government and advocacy sectors to curating content for her blog “Let’s Talk Politics,” Cassidy has a wealth of experience . . . and she’s just getting started.

“I found my passion in politics because I wanted to be part of the movement our nation is going through today. I didn’t want to sit idly by complaining about what our nation is doing wrong,” Cassidy said. “I combined my two passions and effectively used my voice for the better of people, especially women, like me; young and resilient.”

In addition to being young and resilient, Cassidy describes herself as funny, intriguing, fierce, bold, bright, joyful and helpful – all of which would make her a great candidate for political office someday. 

After high school, she plans to attend the University of Michigan, major in Public Policy and intern for her state representative’s staff team.

“My service is for the community. It is centered around the community. The whole purpose of my service is to give citizens the best resources and representation,” she said. “Our news resources are very biased, and it is not fair to the upcoming generation to take the brunt of the biased media.”

Finding Balance

Cassidy may be laser focused on her career, but she finds balance in other passions. 

“I love to impact people and help them in any way which is also a huge reason why I am stuck in politics, but other than that, I am a competitive figure skater.”

We are so proud of Cassidy and wish her much success in her life and career.

If you know a girl who is making an impact, tell us about her. We’re continually accepting submissions for She’s EmPOWERed. Learn more here

She’s EmPOWERed: Tulsa Teenpreneur Uses Greeting Cards to Inspire, Celebrate Girls of Color

Kolbi Lucas was introduced to the world of entrepreneurship as a tween after she noticed a lack of diversity in the greeting card industry. 

That introduction quickly became a passion when she discovered that she could also use her ideas to create and control her future. “I have received a lot of support from many girls and women who tell me that I have inspired them,” said Kolbi, 13. “Their words are affirming and make me feel like I am on the right path.”

That path was directed while Kolbi was out shopping for a birthday card for a friend. She realized there were very few cards with images of Black and Brown girls. 

So, at 10 years old, she started Kolbi’s Afromations – a company that designs handcrafted greeting cards and stationery.   
She hopes that her cards inspire, encourage, and affirm the beauty, intelligence and magic of being a Black girl.

Words of Encouragement
As a successful girlpreneur, Kolbi offers some encouraging advice to aspiring young business owners. 

“Be patient with your business. It is a process, and you won’t always see the success you want right away’” she said. “Prioritize your business by managing your time. As a business owner, you have to be willing to put in the time it takes to provide the best quality for your customers. Sometimes, this means sacrificing things you want to do, but in the end, it will help your business grow.”

Kolbi has aspirations of her own. After high school, she plans to attend NYU or Howard University and study art or fashion. The ambitious teen is interested in being a fashion designer, stylist, or chief editor for a high-end brand. She’s also interested in acting. 

We’re sure she will flourish in any career. Kudos to Kolbi!

Connect with Kolbi:
IG: Kolbis_afromations 
FB: Kolbi’s Afromations