I met about thirty strong, powerful, budding women this week. They were age 11 to 17 with life stories that would make you want to weep for them. But they have all chosen to rise above their histories and begin to grow into women that are confident, smart, and courageous.
At pace, the center for girls, a handful of us from Emerging Leaders volunteered to be guests at round-table discussions with pace girls who could ask us anything they wanted about who we were, what we were about, and where we felt we were going. And most of them did.
I was told that the girls that acted disinterested were new to the program at pace. They were still finding their way and trying to emerge from their current life situations and transform out of the habits that brought them there in the first place. What I found was that the girls that were engaged were the ones that have processed their grief and turned it into strength and had begun looking forward to their futures with excitement.
I was asked about boys, my schooling, my salary, and my interests. And I got to learn that some of them wanted business degrees and some just wanted enough money to feel like they could buy anything they wanted, but weren’t sure how to get there. One of the tables agreed with me that boys and school don’t really mix while another table asked me if I’d ever raise a child without a partner (there are many girls there that have babies already). It was an eye-opening experience, by looking inward at myself and by learning about those girls.
If you’d like to learn more about pace and the good they’re doing, click here. If you’d like to find ways to help in a big way this holiday season, donate items from their “wish list.” These include make up, nail polish, jewelry, perfumes, sneakers, flip flops, socks, and mp3 players with no internet connection. They’ll even accept gift cards. Throughout the year, the girls earn points through hard word, respect, and initiative and they get to spend those points on these items in the store, for themselves and their loved ones. They’re pretty much in need of everything. Also, as they progress through the program, they earn the different footwear items for taking the “steps” in the right direction.
I think I’d like to try my hand at a fundraiser to buy some flip flops for the girls. Do you think you can help me out? I found these on Amazon that I think they’d like.
I have a PayPal account. If you’d like to donate, please contact me below and I’ll send you my account name. Or, if you already know my personal email address, that’s it. 🙂
I’ll be making a $25 donation and I’m hoping you all can spare $5 or $10 a piece to cover the rest?