The future of leadership is female, and EmpowHERment is here to help
Written by Emiene Wright
Study after study has shown strong female leadership improves the status of families and lifts entire communities (The World Bank, Peterson Institute, MSCI World Index). Giving young women the support they need has the potential to change the world for the better. That is the guiding principle behind EmpowHERment, a Charlotte-based mentoring program that has created a pipeline for developing leadership skills in girls.
Since 2010, EmpowHERment has been pairing girls in grades 6-12 with supportive, one-on-one mentors who help strengthen their talents and professional networks, as well as provide access to resources and expose them to advocacy work around community issues. Beyond the individual support, the organization hosts an annual summit that brings together an array of women leaders for a day of connection, learning and fun. Executive Director Tiffany Allen-Potts answered a few questions about the program and how interested parties can get involved.
What are the benefits of mentorship for young women in the program?
Allen-Potts: Mentoring is powerful and important. As a mentee and a mentor, I have experienced and seen the growth of self-confidence and self-esteem, improved behaviors, and increased positive attitudes around school, life and career in a mentoring relationship. Having access to the consistent support and accountability of a mentor leads to a positive personal and professional development impact. Mentoring makes a difference!
Can you share an EmpowHErment success story?
There are way too many great stories! Recently, one of our 2019 Leadership Academy graduates, Rachel, led a focus group on behalf of EmpowHERment. She shared with the audience that her mentoring relationship with Phyllis was a game changer. During Rachel’s high school years, Phyllis exposed Rachel to the local arts scene, from museum and gallery trips to introducing her to people working in the field. As an artist herself, she deepened Rachel’s passion to create and stoked her drive to become a professional in the world of art.
Currently, Rachel is studying film and animation in college and Phyllis remains her mentor. It is apparent that this mentoring pair will remain connected throughout Rachel’s college tenure and beyond.
Aside from becoming a mentor, how can people support EmpowHERment?
At this time, EmpowHERment is seeking financial gifts and donations to continue our work with empowering girls and women to become leaders. Last year’s cohort had over 100 girls, and we expect more this year. Financial resources will be used to amp up our now-virtual mentoring programming, expand the Leadership Academy and support girls with their virtual school year by providing additional assistance in the areas of life skills and mental wellness.Amy and Brian France Foundation who have partnered with SHARE Charlotte for this year’s Spotlight Series and YOU can help when you VOTE NOW! You can also check out the other organizations eligible to win this month’s prize, here!
To learn more about EmpowHERment, visit the website at www.empowHERment.com.