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.
I was honored to be invited last month to appear on the Hope for Detroit show, hosted by Eddie P. and produced by Work Life Entertainment. The community news program is filmed in the Detroit Trade Market and highlights Detroiters on a mission to transform the community and those who give back through their profession and passion.
Check out the interview:
Networking event unites community and civic minded professionals for a cause
After a successful launch in January with the Mentoring Month Mix & Mingle, the Inspired Professionals Series continues with “For the Love of (_______): Proclaim Your Passion” from 6 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 26.
The series is hosted by Empowered Flower Girl (EFG) in partnership with the Skyline Club, 2000 Town Center, in Southfield.
“The Inspired Professionals Series brings together community and civic minded individual for purposeful networking,” said Rasheda Kamaria, EFG chief empowering officer and founder. “For the Love of attendees will have an opportunity to share what they’re up to in the world, build their dream teams and learn from others making a powerful difference.”
Admission is $15 per person and includes appetizers, drink ticket for the lounge after the presentation and giveaways. Reservations are required. Call the Skyline Club at 248-350-9898 to RSVP or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
“For the Love of (_______): Proclaim Your Passion”supports Alternatives for Girls and its mentoring program. Monetary and/or in-kind donations will be accepted.
Thinking about volunteering but don’t know where to start? Empowered Flower Girl’s Rasheda Kamaria offers the following tips to help you find and cultivate your passion:
— Research organizations that focus on the issues you care about the most or create opportunities for yourself to make a difference. Do you want to make the world a better place children and teens? Consider mentoring or tutoring. Passionate about saving the planet? Start a sustainability program at your workplace.
— There are numerous causes and charities in which to get involved. Websites like Idealist.org and Volunteermatch.org are great resources to help you find opportunities that touch, move and inspire you to take action.
Participants in the Youth on the Edge of Greatness (YOE) summer program on Detroit’s eastside experienced Empowered Flower Girl’s upgraded Chica Chat workshop “Inspiring Sisterhood.” Approximately 24 girls participated in the Chica Chat, which was offer in conjuntion with YOE’s Girl Talk session. The group of 8-14 year olds explored friendships, frenemies, cyberbullying and stereotyping while learning problem-solving techniques and new ways to relate and communicate with others.
The Chica Chat: Inspiring Sisterhood workshop will be offered again on Aug. 16, 2014 as part of the I Feel Good: Mind, Body and Soul women’s conference at Wayne State University. For more information, visit the event website.
DETROIT – In honor of National Mentoring Month in January, Empowered Flower Girl LLC will host a celebration and networking event for youth advocates and other adults interested in empowering children.
The Mentoring Month Mix & Mingle, scheduled from 2 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 25, 2014, at D:hive, 1253 Woodward Ave., is free and open to the public.
Attendees will have the opportunity to:
– Mix and mingle with other youth advocates, mentors and people who care about children.
– Learn about local mentoring organizations and opportunities to make a difference.
– Hear from “Mentor Me!” author Paula Dirkes, who will lead a fun and interactive exercise.
– Meet experts who will demystify what it means to be a mentor.
– Have fun exploring the “D” and learning about cool things to do in the city.
Rasheda Kamaria, chief empowering officer and founder of Empowered Flower Girl, encourages adults of all backgrounds to consider mentoring.
“Women, men, college students, entrepreneurs, single professionals, stay-at-home parents and everyday people all have something to offer young people,” says Kamaria, who has mentored six girls since 2001. “Sometimes we underestimate ourselves and think that we’re not successful enough or cool enough to have an impact. But all it takes is a big heart and a little time to be the change in a young person’s life.
For more information or to RSVP, visit www.mentormixandmingle.eventbrite.com. Learn more about Empowered Flower Girl’s “Be the Change. Be a Mentor” campaign at www.empoweredflowergirl.com/mentor-month.
Detroit, get ready to give. Producers from Katie Couric’s show “Katie” will be in town on Monday, Nov. 11 from 3 to 4 p.m. at my alma mater Wayne State University. They are working to help my fav organization Alternatives for Girls fulfill wish lists for its program participants and shelter residents.
The show is asking Wayne State students, employees and Detroiter’s to adopt one girl’s holiday wish list for $30, or to make another donation to the organization. The WSU community will come together for a pep rally type gathering to support the effort.
Alternatives for Girls is looking for new items for women and children, including:
Bras and Panties
Hats, scarfs and mittens
Duffle Bags/Suit cases
Writing Journals and pens
Bath and Body sets
Bath towel sets
Alternative for Girl’s mission is to help homeless and high-risk girls and young women avoid violence, teen pregnancy and exploitation, and help them to explore and access the support, resources and opportunities necessary to be safe, to grow strong and to make positive choices in their lives. The inspiration for Alternatives For Girls came in 1985 when a group of southwest Detroit residents, clergy and business people began to share concerns about the alarming increase in drug use, homelessness, prostitution and street activity among girls and young women. Originally a small, volunteer-run program, operating a five-bed emergency shelter in a neighborhood church, AFG has evolved into a multi-service agency with over 50 employees.
Meeting your mentee and her family for the first time can be an intimidating experience. You conjure up all kinds of scenarios in your head – a disgruntled kid, who is resistant or a suspicious parent, who questions your every move. These circumstances may play out like a drama in your mind’s eye. Thankfully, none of those happened for me. In fact, my experience was the opposite.
It’s been four years since I was introduced to my mentee Jordan. To this day, we’re still learning from each other. She’s an inquisitive, mature and friendly 12 year old. Being a mentor is one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve had since graduating college. Interestingly enough, I became a mentor for Alternatives for Girls during my senior year at Wayne State University.
Jordan’s mom Carmelita had this to say about our mentor/mentee relationship:
“Having a mentor has introduced Jordan to different activities and experiences. She’s grown so much because of it. You all have done things together that I haven’t had the opportunity to do because of my unpredictable work schedule,” she says. “She looks at you like a big sister. She’s always excited and looks forward to the next meeting.”
Still not sure about mentoring?
Here are a few insights that may help you:
– You don’t have to be rich or famous or have super powers. Honestly, you don’t even have to be employed to be a good mentor. Kids just want to know you care.
– Most youth seeking mentors are good kids. While some youth may come from troubled backgrounds, many of them come from stable home environments. They may have challenges in school or socially. All children are different. Get to know them.
– If you have a big heart and a little time, then you’re a great candidate. Sometimes, a phone call is all it takes to make a difference.
When you feel inspired to pay it forward, consider donating your time to a young person. Visit www.mentoring.org for additional resources.
When asked what’s the most important lesson learned during the Thursday, June 13th Community Chica Chat, one confident 13 year old said “don’t be afraid to express yourself.”
That was one of the goals of the two-hour workshop facilitated by Empowered Flower Girl CEO and Founder Rasheda Kamaria.
“Chica Chat is all about promoting sisterhood while empowering girls’ self expression, uniqueness and personal power,” said Kamaria, who founded the social enterprise in 2010. “The cyberbullying, drama and cliques are just the side effect of a bigger issue – the lack of communication skills and tools.”
Nearly 25 girls participated in the workshop held in partnership with Detroit Parent Network. Earlier this year, Kamaria received a $2,100 grant to support Empowered Flower Girl and its workshops/programs.
In addition to the Community Chica Chat, Empowered Flower Girl has hosted two workshops at Capstone Academy, a program for adjudicated adolescent girls ages 12-19.
On Aug. 17, Kamaria will facilitate a mini Chica Chat as part of the “I Feel Good: Mind, Body & Soul” women’s conference.
For more information about the event visit www.superwomanproductions.com.
Learn more about Empowered Flower Girl’s workshops and programs at www.empoweredflowergirl.com.
Images courtesy of Bontisha Rose Photography
Empowered Flower Girl’s Chief Empowering Officer Rasheda Kamaria Williams is profiled in a recent ColorBlind magazine feature story.
ColorBlind, a new online magazine devoted to celebrating and recognizing the beauty and strength of minority teen girls and women, published the article May 9, 2013.
Editor Veronica Grandison spoke with Williams about her experiences as a mentor.
(Williams) found her calling as a mentor for Alternatives for Girls, a Detroit based organization that provides services for homeless and high-risk girls and young women. She is currently mentoring a 12 year- old girl from the organization and has been mentoring her since she was nine.
The idea of starting Empowered Flower Girls sprang from parents asking Williams for advice on how to deal with their children being bullied. She also wanted to help out her mentees and nieces, who were struggling with bullying.
View the full article here.