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.

She’s EmPOWERed: Giving Back is a Way of Life for Tennessee Teen

For many children and teens, volunteering is a chore or something you do because you are told.

But not for Asia Bigsbee.

The 14-year-old Tennessee native has been giving back for nearly a decade and finds joy in it.

She is the founder of the Beautiful Spirited Cupcake Mentoring Program for girls ages four to 11. The program helps participants learn life skills that will help develop and mature them into positive and productive individuals in life, education and community.

“The Beautiful Spirited Cupcake Mentoring Program is making a difference in communities worldwide by providing free programming, community workshops and free resources to give girls in low-income areas a lifetime opportunity to dream big no matter what,” said Asia, who began volunteering when she was four.

Overall, she has hand-written more than 200 letters of hope filled with inspirational and encouraging words to girls worldwide. Additionally, she has fed and provided clothing for over 500 hundred people in need in her community.

Activism, Athletics and Academics

Asia has spoken to and served girls through free workshops, seminars and service projects as a girl power champion.

Not only is she laser-focused on uplifting those in her community, but she’s also focused on academics and athletics. Asia is an honor roll student, volleyball player, basketball player and proud member of several regional and national organizations/associations, including Royal Neighbors of America, Delta Gems of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc., Peace First, Points of Light, Volunteer Memphis and Mentoring Grizz Foundation.

After high school, Asia aspires to enter a veterinarian program.

You can learn more about the Beautiful Spirited Cupcake Mentoring Program by visiting the Beautiful Spirited Women website at www.beautifulspiritedwomen.org.

Learn more at:
Instagram: @beautifulspiritedwomen
Twitter: @bswblessings
Facebook: @bswblessing

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

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

Empowered Flower Girl focuses on partnerships, community collaboration for 2018/19 school year and beyond

Empowered Flower Girl (EFG), a social enterprise dedicated to transforming the way young people relate to one another, is evolving and expanding its mission. The company will focus its resources toward building partnerships and fostering collaborations with education and community organizations throughout the U.S.

Rasheda Kamaria Williams, founder and chief empowering officer, says that EFG will continue offering workshops and programs in schools but will expand in the area of consulting.

With more than 15 years of community relations, strategic communications and project management experience, Williams understands that many organizations and institutions need support resources.

“Collaboration is key to transforming our communities,” Williams says. “When we combine our talents and work together toward empowering youth and families, we can have a greater impact.”

Founded in 2010, by mentor and author Rasheda Kamaria Williams, Empowered Flower Girl offers programs that combat bullying, drama and other social/communications challenges facing youth. The company has facilitated workshops and hosted events reaching nearly 4,000 youth and adults across Michigan, Ohio and Indiana.

For more information, visit www.empoweredflowergirl.com.

EmPOWERing Events in Your Community

Check out the following national observances and events being hosted by us and/or partner organizations:

Teacher Appreciation Week

May 4-8, 2020 – It’s in these challenging times that we truly recognize and appreciate the vital role educators play in children’s lives. The National PTA, in partnership with Office Depot, is honoring teachers and giving everyone an opportunity to show their appreciation. Check out these resources at http://www.pta.org.

May is Mental Health Awareness Month

Each year millions of Americans face the reality of living with a mental illness. Mental Health Awareness Month aims to fight stigma, provide support, educate the public and advocate for policies that support people with mental illness and their families.

Girl World Peace Academy

Coming Summer 2020 – This summer, Empowered Flower Girl will launch its first virtual course for educators, counselors, afterschool professionals and mentors seeking solutions to relational aggression, social exclusion and drama in girl world. The self-guided course, “Girl World Peace Academy” is designed to help youth advocates breakdown barriers and build trust to develop a more authentic connection with young people; a connection that inspires sisterhood and gives girls the courage to stand up for themselves and each other. Learn more here.

For additional news, events and inspiring content, be sure to connect with us via social media.

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Events at Beaumont Hospital to Kick Off Bullying Prevention Month in Michigan

Bullying often goes unreported by students in many schools across the country. Despite research findings that show bullying has significant long-term impacts on both victims and perpetrators, many young people are reluctant to speak up.

It is up to parents, teachers, counselors and youth advocates to learn the signs of bullying and know how to effectively respond to children and youth.

That’s why the International Bullying Prevention Association (IBPA), in partnership with Beaumont Children’s, is hosting the Michigan Bullying Prevention Conference on October 1, 2016. The event, scheduled at Beaumont Hospital’s campus in Royal Oak, will unite diverse groups of youth advocates to discuss bullying and peer aggression. They will also develop strategies and solutions to take back to their schools and communities.

Patti Agatston, Ph.D., a national cyberbullying expert and IBPA president, and Anne Collier, founder of the iCanHelpLine, will open up the conference with a keynote and discussion on “Cyberbullying and Digital Citizenship Strategies.”

Workshop topics include restorative practices, school climate, bullying and suicide, effective communication strategies, cyberbullying and legal aspects of bullying and many more.

Registration is $25 per person and includes breakfast and lunch. Professional development credits are available. Principals, teachers, counselors, liaison officers, social workers, school board members and those working in community agencies are encouraged to attend.

The conference will be preceded by a free event for parents and adult family members covering information and strategies specific to online safety. Karuna Nain, Facebook global safety manager, will present “Navigating the Social World with Your Teens — Insights from Facebook,” on Thursday, September 29. Registration is required for this event.

The Michigan Bullying Prevention Conference is sponsored by Beaumont Children’s, NoBLE (No Bullying Live Empowered) and Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. Additional support comes from the Michigan Elementary and Secondary Principals Association (MEMSPA).

For more information or to register for the conference, visit www.ibpaworld.org/mi.

Youth Resource Summit connects the dots among Detroit-area youth service providers

Youth Resource Summit
Detroit-area youth service providers gathered Memorial Day weekend for the first annual Youth Resource Summit, hosted by Better Detroit Youth Movement(BDYM) and ARISE Detroit.

Representatives from dozens of youth-serving organizations exchanged ideas for better supporting youth and families.

BDYM’s R. Lee Gordon unveiled details of the Resource Alert Project (RAP), an online tool to connect young people to programs, events and resources to help support their development.

 

Mentoring Girls & Inspiring Sisterhood

Event celebrates women, addresses issues impacting girls

March is Women’s History Month and Empowered Flower Girl LLC is inviting a diverse group of women to network and celebrate sisterhood while addressing the issues that impact girls and young women.

“Mentoring Girls & Inspiring Sisterhood,” is scheduled from 6 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, March 26, at the Skyline Club, 2000 Town Center in Southfield. The event is the third in the Inspired Professionals Series, which gives civic- and community-minded individuals a chance to connect with others who care about kids and learn about opportunities to make a difference.

“Mentoring Girls & Inspiring Sisterhood” features a preview of the documentary Redefining Beauty, chronicling the lives of Detroit-area girls who candidly share their fears, dreams, challenges and hopes.

“Our goal is to promote the power of sisterhood and encourage women to celebrate themselves and each other,” said EFG Chief Empowering Officer Rasheda Kamaria, a Royal Oak resident. “We want to make sure that our girls have positive role models to help them as they transition into womanhood.”

Attendees will be pampered and treated to appetizers, a drink ticket, and fabulous giveaways. Tickets are $25.

The first 25 guests to RSVP will receive a special gift. Register with the Skyline Club at 248-350-9898.

Mentoring Girls Flyer Invite