What comes to life with a mixture of BOLD, POWERFUL + simply UNSTOPPABLE teen girls? The Evoluer House! This innovative and dynamic nonprofit organization, delivers empowerment programs that help girls to envision a future devoid of disadvantages and filled with possibilities. Reaching girls of color in Philadelphia ages 13 to 18, The Evoluer House curriculums are designed to promote emotional, mental, and social well-being. It equips girls with the tools they need to become college-bound and career-ready.
Founder and Executive Director of The Evoluer House, Cheryl Ann Waldington, has been on a mission to advance all of girl kind! As a former national fashion and beauty journalist, she is an influential global change agent and leading consultant in the field of personal growth. Cheryl is an accomplished writer, television personality and sought-after motivational speaker, who has reached millions of people with her advice and perspective through media outlets as Vogue, Elle, Self, Life & Style, Lucky, C-Span and Glo.com. Her passions unfold in inspiring youth and making a positive and lasting imprint on their lives!
Let’s get to know Cheryl Waldington + The Evolouer House a little better…
Evoluer House empowers young African American girls in the Philadelphia area through different curriculum and professional development, what made you launch this powerful organization?
I founded The Evoluer House 12 years ago because I believe every girl deserves the best opportunity to achieve her dreams, regardless of what zip code she is born in; and I was also aware that girls of color experience a unique set of social and emotional challenges and barriers to success in the U.S.. So I decided to take action to address those challenges and expand opportunities for marginalized girls for color. Our mission is to equip the most underserved and hardest-to-reach girls in Philadelphia with essential tools to become college-bound and career-ready, thus breaking the cycle of inter-generational poverty. Our organization has served over 1,200 teen girls of color, and I am very proud that 100% of Evoluer House graduates finish high school on time and go on to attend a four-year college or other forms of post-secondary education. Many of them have earned advance degrees.
Being a voice in the community motivates others to be great, what type of programs and events does Evoluer House host?
The Evoluer House offers two 8-week programs (the Youth Workforce Development and Evoluer Personal Development Programs), that encourage girls to think bigger, dream higher and be the best that they can be—women of character who are motivated to lead both personally and professionally.
We tend to pull characteristics from others in our lives or from people we admire, who inspires you and why?
My parents and brother are my inspiration. They instilled in me the belief that I don’t have to be like everybody else—to be myself—which has served as my foundation. This helped launch my career in fashion as a journalist and image consultant and instilled in me values that charted my life and defined success for me. They also underscored my responsibility to help others along the way and never let me forget that God is the rock upon which I stand.
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?
You can indeed be whatever you want to be. Tune out anyone who tells you otherwise. Sing your own song in your own key and groove to your own beat. Dream big and learn to live life FEARLESSLY.
Working with youth both parties learn from each other, what’s one trait you have learned from working with your girls?
I am thrilled to see girls throughout the country speaking up for their rights and taking an active role in making a difference in their community and beyond. They also understand the importance of empowering each other; and they’re inspired to change the world in big and small ways.
We’re all about empowerment at C.O.R.E Mag, what does EMPOWERMENT mean to you and your organization?
Girls deserve a world where they can be proud and unapologetic with the right to express her culture however she defines it, without judgment. To hear our graduates describe how Evoluer House helped them find the confidence to achieve their goals, this is what we know for sure: “An empowered girl will stay healthy. Save money. Build a business. Empower her community. Lift her country. Change the world.”
Holding “court” with my girls.
Right now I’m loving: Andra Day: “I Rise Up” and Kelly Price: “It’s My Time.”