Empowered Flower Girl one of three Detroit area organizations to win a $5,000 Social Impact Grant

The Consulate General of Israel to the Midwest announced winners of its Social Impact Grants during an awards ceremony on Friday, June 17, in Detroit.

Empowered Flower Girl was selected among three Michigan-based organizations to receive a grant.

Other organizations awarded include: Detroiters Working for Environmental Justice and Quartz Water Source.

“Out of the numerous applications that we received, these three grassroots organizations reflect a value that is also quintessential to Israeli society: taking care of our own and each other” said Yinam Cohen, Consul General of Israel to the Midwest.

Empowered Flower Girl will use the funds to host events this fall, including a Be the Impact Summit in honor of International Day of the Girl and service-learning showcase for youth.

“At Empowered Flower Girl, our tagline is be empowered, live powerfully and this wonderful Social Impact Grant from the Consulate General of Israel to the Midwest will help us continue our work with young people who are being the change in their schools, communities and in the world,” said EFG Founder and Chief Empowering Officer Rasheda Williams.

In 2021, the Consulate provided its first Social Impact Grants in Minneapolis. The Consulate General of Israel to the Midwest is charged with connecting to the following states: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.

She’s EmPOWERed: Community Service is a Family Affair for Virginia Sisters and NEST4US Founders

Service to the community is a strong value in the Venkat family household. So it’s no surprise that sisters Shreyaa and Esha are championing causes and inspiring others to do the same.

“Our mom would bring us along to volunteer at school and community events even back in elementary school,” said eldest sister, Shreyaa, 18. “That was when we were first introduced to the world of community service. The giving spirit has always been in our family for generations.”

The award-winning sisters believe it’s our responsibility as humans to give back to the people who need it the most. There are millions of people in the world that don’t have access to basic necessities like food and some don’t even have families or loved ones.

PURPOSE & PASSION

“This is proof that the world needs people to spark change and build a better future. So, we thought, why couldn’t that be us?” said younger sister, Esha, 15. That’s the inspiration behind why they formed NEST4US, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to providing volunteer solutions to the community to make the world better through kindness.

The sisters have made such an impact in their community and across the country that they have been honored with dozens of awards, including the George H.W. Bush Points of Light Award. This year, Shreyaa was selected for the Clinton Global Initiative University 2021 Cohort by the Clinton Foundation. Additionally, the girls were among the L’Oreal Paris Women of Worth honorees and selected for the Disney Dreamers Academy with Steve Harvey.

It’s hard to imagine Shreyaa and Esha having time for anything else with all their NEST4US initiatives. But they do! These fierce founders are both travel soccer players, Kathak dancers, 3rd degree black belts, certified soccer referees and assistant martial arts instructors.

“Many people wonder, how do we manage to balance academics, extracurriculars and still keep time open in our schedules to give back consistently? Well, for us, we believe that you don’t need to have time, you should make the time to help others,” the sisters agreed.

ASPIRATIONS

Currently, Shreyaa is balancing her time as a freshman at Georgetown University majoring in Global Health studies. She aspires to enter the medical field and delve into healthcare management, through which she’ll continue providing aid to marginalized populations who lack equitable access to vital healthcare resources and treatments.

Esha, who is a high school student, is interested in studying neuroscience and/or computer science/animation when she goes to college. “Personally, I want to work in the neuroscience and technology field when I grow up, because I am interested in the brain and all things STEM,” she said.

You can keep up to date with all of the NEST4US initiatives and activities at www.nest4us.org.

Follow them at:

Facebook- @nest4us
Instagram- @joinnest
Twitter- @joinnest4

Empowered Flower Girl to Host “Be the Impact” Service-Learning Training and If I Were President Campaign

On January 20, U.S. citizens will inaugurate their 46th president. And while presidents and other elected officials serve their country as leaders and policymakers, they aren’t the only ones who can affect change.  

Ordinary people make extraordinary contributions to our society every day.  

Empowered Flower Girl (EFG) is inviting youth and youth advocates to explore the impact they can have and the difference they can make regardless of age or occupation. 

As a social enterprise dedicated to helping young people live above life’s drama to make a POWERful difference, EFG will host “Be the Impact,” a virtual service-learning training and introduction to our “If I Were President” campaign.  

“We will explore ways youth can tackle and solve issues in their communities as well as support and resources available to them,” said Rasheda Kamaria Williams, chief empowering officer for Empowered Flower Girl.  

The campaign will culminate with an “inauguration” event on MLK Day, January 18, 2021, where participants will share their ideas and celebrate and support one another to make them a reality. 

Two participants will be randomly selected during the inauguration to receive a $100 gift card in honor of their ideas to make a difference in their communities. 

The training and inauguration event are being hosted as part of Youth Service America’s MLK Day of Service initiative. Empowered Flower Girl was among eight Michigan-based organizations awarded a grant from the Michigan Service Squad to carry out service-learning trainings and projects in honor of Dr. King’s legacy.  

Be the Impact Training 

Monday, January 4 from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. ET 

www.betheimpacttraining.eventbrite.com

Program helps teens find passion and purpose in service

Growing up in the ‘80s, I often heard adults saying things like “children should be seen and not heard.” It was their way of maintaining peace and quiet. I was never a proponent of this proverb. In fact, I am a firm believer in the opposite – young people should be seen and heard. Their voices matter!

Everyone – regardless of age – has the power to change the world. All it takes is the courage to speak up and take action.

April is National Volunteer Month and we encourage tweens and teens (and adults) to turn their passions into purpose by volunteering with organizations that reflect the issues and activities they care about the most.

There are thousands of causes, charities and issues in which to get involved. Websites like Idealist.org and VolunTeenNation.org are great resources to help find opportunities that touch, move and inspire action as well as funding to make it all happen.

Looking for ideas to encourage volunteerism among youth?

Empowered Flower Girl’s got you covered with our School & Community Service Learning Guide, which explores ways for tweens and teens to make a difference in their communities based on their interests and passions.

The guide is available for schools and organizations that purchase at least 20 copies of “Be EmPOWERed: How to Live Above & Beyond Life’s Drama.” Register by April 15 and receive special bonuses! Email info@rashedakamaria.com for details.

Be sure to join us at 10 a.m. on Saturday, April 8 via Facebook for a special announcement about the service learning guide and how teens can secure funding for their do-good projects!!

About Global Youth Service Day (GYSD)

Hosted by Youth Service America, GYSD is the largest service event in the world and the only one that celebrates the contributions that children and youth make 365 days of the year.