Girl Power: Encouraging & Empowering

Girls Empowerment HS_MS_2 (1)

Foundation Academy empowers our scholars to lead lives of purpose. During Women’s History Month, several FA Collegiate scholars have created a community of empowered women through conversation.

Gathered around a table in the Middle School cafeteria, the young women recently talked and laughed with girls in sixth, seventh and eighth grades. Topics ranged from school work to social media, fashion to friendships. “I felt like a big sister,” said Aniya Ross, a senior.

Encouraging the younger girls to make choices based on what's best for them -- not to please others, the older scholars urged them to speak up and speak out. "Everybody's voice matters," they said.

Sheguyma Bazile, a junior, had reached out to Nursing Director Taleia Stephens about launching a mentoring workshop “to ensure our middle school ladies are knowledgeable and feel empowered.” The workshop goal is to create a bridge for the girls as they move into high school.

“Middle school in some odd ways still has not changed. And that need for just wanting to talk to someone is still present,” she said. “I wanted to establish a connection with the middle school and give them just a glimpse at the community the high school has to offer for everyone.

“It was also an opportunity for girls to genuinely connect and have the infamous girl talk that lets you know you’re not the only one.”

Senior Aniya Ross agreed. “We didn't have anyone to mentor us like this in middle school,” she recalled. “It’s important for young ladies to have a role model. Many may not have the right influences or ideas, and it's essential to teach them or inform them…I tried my best to help the young ladies to always be there for one another.”

Thanks to support from mentors such as Nurse Stephens, MS Dean Shea Lightfoot, FA Collegiate Dean Francisca Deleon and Director of Enrichment Corin Rushing-Francis, they plan to continue the dialogue.

“It’s a great way for the younger girls to ask questions without fear of being judged or feeling embarrassed,” Nurse Stephens said. “And the older girls get to share lessons they’ve learned, and feel proud about their accomplishments and how far they’ve come.”

Michelle Ruess