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Making a Difference with the Girls-2-DIVAS Mentoring Program
By Rashida A. Marshall
Sometimes, our own life experiences help us to recognize what we are meant to share with the world. While growing up in Miami, Florida, Janay White did not have too many sources encouraging her to move in the direction of college or furthering her career. Being in a surrounding that may not have been most suitable, Janay was blessed to have the opportunity to be steered in the right direction by her aunt and other significant figures in her life which led to her attaining her Bachelor’s and Masters degrees in Social Work from Florida A&M University.
Recognizing the importance of having someone in your life that cares about you and will listen to you talk about things going on in your life, helped Janay to realize that all young ladies deserve to receive that same guidance, This lead to the creation of Girls-2-DIVAS, a mentoring program in Tallahassee, Florida for middle and high school girls. Serving an educational vessel, support system, and safe and positive environment, Janay White strives to use this program as as way to show young ladies that they are capable of becoming and creating whatever it is they desire. Janay took a moment to speak with AFIYA Magazine and share more about the program and how they are making changes in the community.
Rashida: Thank you for taking the time to speak with AFIYA Magazine. Please share more about Girls-2-DIVAS and how do you come up with the different activities you like for the girls to partake in?
Janay: Girls-2-DIVAS is a mentoring program for middle school and high school girls. We are a 501(c)(3) so it’s free for the girls. We provide them primarily with mentoring. Each girl gets a mentor who meets with her on a weekly basis and once the mentors are trained, they have the ability to go meet with the girls at their respective schools. Along with that, we do educational workshops on a monthly basis. Our mission is to help the next generation of young girls discover their purpose in life, build and nurture their self-esteem and develop life, social and leadership skills, presentation and job skills and things of that nature. We hope to provide them with all these things so that they can be self-sufficient and take care of themselves, know right from wrong, and move in the right direction in life. As far as the activities are concerned, we try to pull it from those areas of focus when coming up with what the girls will do.
Rashida: What led you to start Girls-2-D.I.V.A.S?
Janay: I had many people who helped me along the way, but it was really my aunt and her friends who had the biggest influence. Knowing what’s going on in society, when someone tells me they’re interested in starting a mentoring program I encourage them because it’s needed. There’s never enough. I felt that I needed to do something to help his generation and to help our girls. I wanted to do something about it, and it’s something that I’m very passionate about–specifically our girls. They all need some form of help. They all need inspiration and someone they can look up to, and that’s what I wanted to provide to the girls through this program
P.O. Box 5201
Tallahassee, FL 32301