Posts tagged "non profit"

Meet I Am Gracious!

Planting the seeds of confidence + courage into the budding beauty of girls is the key into sparking the next generation!  The mission of  I Am Gracious  is to link together young girls throughout the Southwest Louisiana area to encourage, empower and motivate them on their journey to womanhood. This powerful non-profit  founded by Trista Ledet Ames encourages young girls between the ages of 12-18 years old from diverse backgrounds, regardless of size, shape, race or color; all while promoting self-esteem and self-confidence and empowering young girls in making responsible choices.
 
I Am Gracious builds up self-esteem and self-confidence, as well as teaching girls about the importance of participating in a positive way in their family, schooling, and community. Another way is by teaching them how to conduct themselves as positive role models to others by being a light in their own lives as well as reflecting that light into the lives of their peers, so that they may in turn be positive as well.
 
Let’s get to know I Am Gracious a little better…
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Princess Ball which allowed each young girl to come in & feel like royalty while dressing in fancy gowns & meeting The first black Mrs. Louisiana, Mrs. Nomica Guillory.

I Am Gracious is a powerful organization that encourages, empowers and motivates young women, what made you want to create a platform to allow young people to shine?

I would see so many young girls who seemed so focused on getting attention based on the way that they looked and seeking to get that validation from young men or just about anywhere they thought feasible. I wanted to share with them the validation that I had received from my parents and as well as teach them that validation comes from within oneself. We live in a society where the media implants a false image of who and what a young woman should resemble, so I vowed to take a stand to teach the contrary and impart knowledge and wisdom in the young females lives.

Being a voice in the community motivates others to be great, how do you teach teen ladies to be a positive role model?

We do this by teaching them about the importance of participating in a positive way in their family, schooling, and community. Another way is by teaching them to speak positively. It may sound simple, but even we as adults have a hard time doing this. How many times in your life has someone ever said to you, “You’ll never lose weight.” & you took that and literally and didn’t lose the weight? There’s a scripture that says “Death and life are in the power of the tongue”….If I speak negatively, I’ve killed a dream before it has been able to take root. So, I teach the girls to take the negatives and turn them into positives. This means to speak positively about the situations that you are handed in your life, no matter what they may be.

We tend to pull characteristics from others in our lives or from people we admire, who inspires you and why?

I have to say that one person who inspires me is Tamron Hall. She is beautiful & well poised, down to earth and doesn’t allow her image to be defined. But I’d be remised if I didn’t say that the assignment of I Am Gracious wasn’t inspired by God. I would wake up out of a dead sleep and write down visions of things that I was given. Being the person that I am, (very shy and always a background person) I would think, “Why would God give me something like this to do?”, but I had to learn to that it’s not my will, but His.

Founder of I Am Gracious, Trista Ledet

Founder of I Am Gracious, Trista Ledet Ames

If you had to give one piece of advice to teen girls who are struggling with being comfortable in their own skin, what would it be?

My advice to teen girls struggling with being comfortable in their own skin is to really take a look at yourself & know that you are a beautiful, unique creation made from God Himself. EVERYTHING that God has made is perfect in His own image. Speak these positive things to yourself daily until you begin to believe it!

Working with youth both parties learn from each other, what’s one trait you have learned from working with girls?

I think that I’ve learned the “Hear us out” trait lol! Why couldn’t someone figure that out when I was a teen? Lol Seriously though, they’ve taught me that they really just want to be heard. Their ideas, dreams and hopes, their side of the story, etc. If we would take a moment to pause and just listen, we would find that each girl is on a journey to find themselves and they may need you to be their “compass”, but in order for you to be that to them, you must listen to them so that you can help guide them on the right path.

The day of their completion ceremony from The W.A.I.T.S Plan - A 12 week abstinence awareness program

The day of their completion ceremony from The W.A.I.T.S Plan – A 12 week abstinence awareness program

We’re all about empowerment at C.O.R.E Mag, what does EMPOWERMENT mean to you + your organization?

Empowerment means to uplift any and every individual that you may come in contact with. We never know who may need encouragement, motivation or even a smile to make it through the day!

Fun Faves! Song? Food? Artist? Celeb Crush?

Fun faves about me: I love to mud ride on 4 wheelers (It’s a country thing!), Travel and spend time with my family…We are a big bunch, so it is always a fun time. Favorite song- I love so many different songs that it would be very hard to choose just one. Favorite food – My goodness, I just love food, but I’d have to say my dad’s Jambalaya. My favorite artist – again there are so many, but I’d have to say (Male) my baby brother Joshua Ledet with his soulful sound and crazy range& (Female) Toni Braxton with her deep tone. Now, I don’t really have a celebrity crush, because my husband is one wonderful man that no one compares to him in my book (it’s ok to smile Kevin) 🙂 but if I have I just have to list one, it would probably have to be Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. Only because he seems like a genuine, and caring person by the way he shows such care when speaking about his mother and his life & of course I think he’s a pretty good actor in these roles that seem to show his compassionate side for people/children like The Game Plan, Walking Tall & Gridiron Gang.

 

Find out more here!

I Am Gracious

 

 

Meet True Belles!

Inspiration is contagious, right? Of course it is and True Belles is sprinkling it everywhere! As a community based organization, True Belles has a mission to recondition the minds of young girls teaching them to be individuals of tact, class and integrity through learning to love, respect and accept themselves! This empowering organization seeks to be productive in their lives so that they in turn become productive within their own lives and the lives of others.

True Belles is a community based youth development program that serve young girls 7-14 years of age. Their sole purpose is to enhance lives by providing the proper tools that will produce life long success. True Belles was formed under the the proverb ‘it takes a village to raise a child.’ They understand that children are faced with many negative influences and experiences and for that reason alone it takes more than a mom and (or) dad to teach a child the ways of life.

Let’s get to know True Belles a little better…

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True Belles reconditions the minds of young girls teaching them to be individuals of tact, class and integrity through learning to love, respect and accept themselves. What made you launch this empowering organization?
The inspiration behind the True Belles Mentoring Program is none other than my Belle herself, Miss Tiana Reed, who noticed a very disturbing preview of an upcoming reality show that depicted black females as being less than ladylike. Understanding that television is of a great influence to young girls such as herself, she decided that together we should provide an alternative to the negativity by coming up with something positive.
Your organization offers a  variety of programs for  girls – Discover, Lead, Serve.  How does each program shape the success for girls?
 Though each individual segment serves its own purpose, only together will it truly shape success. When girls are taught how to tap in and discover all the great qualities that are innate, they become strong, confident and bold which sets them up for to become leaders that will at some point serve their communities.
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If you had to give one piece of advice to girls  who are struggling with being comfortable in their own skin, what would it be? 
My advice to  girls who struggle being comfortable in their own skin is this: Puzzles come with many defining pieces. In order to see the full beauty of the puzzle, each piece has its own part to play and is equally important so understand that just like that puzzle piece, you have your own shape, size and color and no matter how different you may seem to others, you have an important place in this beautiful puzzle that we call our world; embrace your position. You are fearfully and wonderfully made.
We tend to pull characteristics from others in our lives or from people we admire, who inspires you and why?
 I am inspired by so many great individuals however, my current inspiration comes from our Fist Lady, Michelle Obama!! Mrs. Obama is everything that a Belle is known for. She is beautiful, smart, innovative and classy but yet an all around, down to earth, fun girl.
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Working with youth both parties learn from each other, what’s one trait you have learned from working with girls?
 Working with today’s young girls I have learned to be resilient. Young girls have it hard and they go through so much but they somehow manage to shake it off and bounce back time and time again.
We’re all about empowerment at C.O.R.E Mag, what does EMPOWERMENT mean to you + your organization?
What empowerment means to myself and my organization is simple, it is nothing more than unadulterated awareness. They say that when the student is ready, the teacher will appear so when you open your mind to accept all of life’s great lesson you allow those new and powerful awarenesses to be untainted.
Fun Faves! Song? Food? Artist? Celeb Crush?
Favorite song: Pieces of me by Ledisi
     Favorite Food: All things Mexican
     Favorite Artist: India Arie
     Celeb Crush: The Game
Check out more here…

Meet Girls; Live, Love, Laugh, Inc.

Every girl should live bold, love strong and laugh loud! Girls; Live, Love, Laugh, Inc. is a nonprofit organization focusing on 6-13 year old girls living with limited resources in the inner city of Newark, New Jersey and the surrounding areas. Their vision is to empower girls by building positive self-esteem, proper etiquette, self respect, and health/fitness. They aim to make a difference by removing obstacles that stand in their way, so that they can become respectable, successful, productive, and happy young ladies. This influential organization offers a variety of programs  that focuses on many pressing issues that are relevant in today’s society.

Let’s get to know Girls; Live.Love.Laugh, Inc. a little better…

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Girls; Live. Love. Laugh, Inc. empowers girls by building positive self-esteem, proper etiquette, self-respect, and health/fitness! What made you launch this empowering organization?

I didn’t launch this empowering organization, God had this vision and is just using me to do his work. I was the chosen one. I now know that every test, every trail and tribulation that I have been through he was preparing me for this assignment. When God blesses you with a gift or a calling, it is up to us to answer him and use our gifts. Girls; Live. Love. Laugh. Inc. in here because of Him.

How does Girls; Live. Love.Laugh, Inc. encourages positive family influence in young ladies lives?

Family is extremely important to the very foundation of Girls; Live. Love. Laugh, Inc. Losing our parents at an young age, all of my sibling and I had was each other. I do not know what would have become of us if my parents did not instill the value of family before their passing. We teach our girls that in our organization we are family. We may not always agree or get along, but as with blood relatives, we work through it together. We also encourage open communication between mentors and the parents. It’s about building a support system that let’s our girls know that they are not alone and there are people who they can turn too no matter what. At GLLLs, there is nothing more important than family, but God.

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If you had to give one piece of advice to teen girls who are struggling with being comfortable in their own skin, what would it be?

God made no mistakes when he made you. You are beautiful just the way you are. Your uniqueness separates you from everyone else in the world; embrace it, love it and own it. There will never be another You; so live life impressing yourself, and being the best you can possible be. YOU ROCK!

We tend to pull characteristics from others in our lives or from people we admire, who inspires you and why?

My mom is my greatest inspiration. Growing up in the projects with 7 siblings I never knew that we were what society deemed as “poor”. My mom worked and went to school. She was not just a provider for her children, but all the children in the neighborhood. Although it wasn’t much, she shared everything she had with everyone. She raised her children on the scripture Mark 12:31 “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself”. I inherited my spirit of community giving and loving from my mom.

Working with youth both parties learn from each other, what’s one trait you have learned from working with girls?

One of the most transforming things I have learned from our girls is to DREAM BIG and FEAR NOTHING! Every year we ask the girls to fill-out profile cards where they are allowed to share anything, specifically, their dreams and goals. Over the years I’ve noticed that some of the girl’s dreams were the same dreams I had at their age. Unlike our girls, I was fearful and lacked the self-esteem to pursue my dreams. Because of their fearless spirit I was inspired to pursue my college degree and start my own business. I am now entering my final semester at Essex County College, where I will be receiving my degree in Social Work. I am also the proud owner of The Youthpreneur, LLC. a dedicated to providing events and entertainment specific to youth. As they set out to make me proud, I want to make them as equally proud.

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We’re all about empowerment at C.O.R.E Mag, what does EMPOWERMENT mean to you + your organization?

To me, Empowerment means finding your own voice, and then helping others to find theirs. Empowerment also means investing in your community by giving back through volunteer work and community service. Girls;Live, Love, Laugh Inc. believe that Empowerment is helping your sisters; wanting for them, the same things you would want for yourself. We have an obligation to one another as sisters, and that is to pull up the next sister by providing them with the tools and resources that were afforded to us.

Fun Faves! Song? Food? Artist? Celeb Crush?

Eating Pizza, Traveling, Singing and Reading are my fun faves. My favorite song is Fantasia’s “Sometimes you have to lose to win again”. My favorite artist includes Fantasia and Pastor Shirley Caesar. My favorite celebrity crush I would have to say my husband Andre. He’s my celebrity and I have the biggest crush on him.

Check out more here…

Girls;Live,Love,Laugh Inc.

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