Posts tagged "Project Girl Mentoring"

Meet Project Girl Mentoring!

What if  every young woman fulfills her potential? What if every young woman is set on the right path today? What if every young woman in Washington finishes high school, goes to a college or vocational school, gets a job and gives back to her community?  Well, this is exactly what Project Girl Mentoring is on the road of accomplishing with their empowering organization!

Founded by Olympia Edwards, Project Girl Mentoring Program envisions a community in which every young female is empowered to make confident decisions and be self-sufficient allowing them to develop into their full potential.

The non profit organization provides mentoring, educational and social activities to young women throughout Snohomish County and its surrounding area. The overall goal of the program is to support girls as they develop positive choices while learning new life skills and help them transition into womanhood. They focus on the Positive Youth Development (PYD) approach to help girls acquire the skills and knowledge to become healthy and productive women.

Let’s get to know more about Project Girl Mentoring…

Olympia Edwards, Founder of Project Girl Mentoring

Olympia Edwards, Founder of Project Girl Mentoring


Project Girl Mentoring Program was created to encourage young women to make positive life choices and to maximize their natural potential! How + why did you feel the need to launch this empowering program?

Project Girl Mentoring Program was developed because I felt the need to take an active role in shaping the lives of young women in my community. I was tired of seeing systematic stereotypes and disparities hold back women of color in my neighborhood. So I started the Project Girl Mentoring Program, as a prevention program to prepare them to overcome these life challenges. They need a place where they could learn how to be empowered to make confident decisions, envision themselves as leaders and recognize their power and recognize their self-worth.

Project Girl Mentoring has a variety of programs! Can you tell us about the Emerge, Inspire (HER) + STEAM Connect programs?

The Emerge is our core program where we provide mentorship to schools, community centers, faith based and other nonprofit programs. We focused our curriculum around modules of developing inner strength, leadership, healthy choices and life skills. Each curriculum module is designed to be 8-10 weeks. Sometimes, we address hard issues and break down major barriers, other times we have entertaining conversation about life in general.

Inspire (Her) is about taking mentoring to the next level and exposing young women of color to the community and actively involving them in events that affect their lives. Over the past year, we participated in lectures and empowering series with Dr. Joy DeGruy and Cornell West, attended conferences such as “How to Become a Successful Student Leader” and “Building Confidence within Understanding” and “Appreciation your Identity.”

Picture of Two Mentees/Program Coordinator with Dr. Joy DeGruy

Picture of Two Mentees/Program Coordinator with Dr. Joy DeGruy

S.T.E.A.M. Connect is designed to give young women of color meaningful access to science, technology, engineering, arts and math learning opportunities. We collaborate with several organization and schools throughout Washington that specialize in exposing girls to S.T.E.A.M. and integrated our mentoring program with their community projects. In addition, we get to meet professional women of color who are involved S.T.E.A.M. careers and is passionate about the work they get to do every day.

All of our programs are modeled behind national girl-serving organizations that have pointed to the need for gender and culturally relevant programs that allow young women to voice their experience, develop positive connections and gain the necessary skills to pursue their goals in education, career and relationships.

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

One trait that I have learned from working with girls is that every girl, young woman, and woman is that we are continually develop ourselves as we understand our identity as women. Every day, like many women, I wake up wondering “Who am I as a woman of color” and “How can I make today different for me.” On the surface, we are all definitely different; we have different hair types, skin color and cultural traditions; however under everything that makes us different we are all truly seeking the same understanding “who are we.”


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

The advice I would give is honestly, no one is comfortable 100% of the time with the way they look and its hard to love yourself if you don’t know how but you can learn and continue working on self-love. I would also give them this little acronym: (AEC)

A – Accepted every blemish, mark, and scar.

E – Embrace your distinctive beauty, love your complexion regardless who tells you otherwise.

C – Celebrate what makes you different from anyone else. Remember, that everyone is beautiful and true beauty lies within your own definition.

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

Currently right now, I am inspired by my niece who is such a brilliant young woman. She is very adventurous and creative. She reminds me that all young women are on the road of self-discovery and looking for support and guidance. My niece keeps me on my toes, always questioning life and looking for understanding. As I work with other young women, I ask myself “how would my niece react to the advice I am delivering to their young lives and how does it really shape their viewpoints.” This keeps me present to the experiences that young women are facing every single day.

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

To me, empowerment means to claim my voice as a leader in my community by using my talents, values and passion to influence the lives of young women of color. In Project Girl, empowerment means equipping young women of color with the necessary tools needed to succeed in life. We help them focus on the journey of self-fulfillment, learning and guidance.

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

My favorite song is Strength, Courage and Wisdom by India Arie, it talks about finding the strength inside and behind everything that you are and everything that you are not. My favorite food is French Fries with a little ketchup on the side. Since I like to paint, my favorite artist is Frida Kahlo, she is a Mexican painter who is known for her self-portraits. I am not as skilled but I do love the imagery she brings to her artwork. Here is an example of some of the artwork I do in my free time on 4*8 wood boards. (Picture of Abstract Art)

C.O.R.E. Abstract Art (1)

Check out more Project Girl Mentoring here…

Project Girl Mentoring