If you’ve resolved to make a difference or dedicate your time to worthy causes in the new year, I encourage you to consider mentoring.
You may have thought about it in the past but weren’t sure if you’d have the time or qualifications. But chances are – you do!
January is National Mentoring Month – a time for individuals and organizations across the country to bring awareness to the need for caring adults to serve as role models for youth.
I’ve been inspired to mentor for the past 16 years. While I have no biological children, I am dedicated to positively impacting the young people in my family and in my community.
According to MENTOR, the national mentoring partnership, 1 out of 3 children will grow up without a mentor.
There are many benefits for children and teens matched with mentors. These young people are less likely to engage in risky behaviors and activities such as truancy, drugs and gangs. They also are more likely to graduate high school and attend college.
It only takes a few hours a month of face time and a phone call a week to help increase a child’s self-esteem. In addition to the mentee’s development, the mentor benefits in many ways. My mentees have helped me aspire higher in my career and in life. And knowing that they’re looking up to me, keeps me living in integrity.
Empowered Flower Girl (EFG), a company that produces workshops and programs to inspire girls and young women to live powerfully, received more than $2,100 to fund Chica Chat workshops in Detroit schools and communities.
Detroit SOUP, which gives micro-grants to creative social entrepreneurs, hosted its three-year anniversary and monthly pitch session on Sunday, Feb. 10. After receiving majority of the crowd votes, EFG took home the cash donation.
“The support from the community was overwhelming and heartfelt,” said Rasheda Kamaria, EFG chief empowering officer and founder. “It’s encouraging to meet people who are making a difference in and around Detroit. I am truly inspired by all of the positive energy and people in this city. I look forward to working with local schools to bring the Chica Chats to the students.”
Over the next month, Kamaria will work with the community to identify schools that would benefit from hosting a Chica Chat session. The workshop fosters positive and empowering relationships among girls and young women. Participants have the opportunity to be self-expressed, heard and understood by their peers and adult mentors in a supportive, safe and accepting environment. Additionally, girls learn the art of networking by participating in fun and engaging ice-breaking activities and have the opportunity to ask questions anonymously that are answered by their peers with facilitation by adult mentors.
On Wednesday, Jan. 30, EFG teamed up with Hazel Park Junior High to host a Chica Chat. Nearly 40 sixth through eighth graders participated in the event.
For more information or to suggest a school, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 248-629-0EFG. Kamaria also is looking to partner with a local mentoring or nonprofit organization to host a community-wide Chica Chat for girls in the city and suburbs late this spring.