“Well there you go, and that’s what the south side of Chicago produces!” -First Lady, Michelle Obama
Could you imagine having the opportunity to formally introduce the First Lady of the United States as a freshman in high school?
Well, Polished Pebble mentee Deneen Borner did, & she’s heading to college at Mississippi Valley State University this Fall and we need your help to make sure she can get there!
In 2011, Polished Pebble mentee, Deneen Borner, had the privilege of introducing First Lady Michelle Obama at the National Mentoring Summitt in Washington, DC. The First Lady’s reaction to that introduction spoke accolades to the work we do with girls. She simply stated, “well there you go, and that’s what the south side of Chicago produces.” This comment spoke to the impact of our mentoring model and the possibility to extend our reach to more communities. You can check out Deneen’s speech below!
We couldn’t have been more proud of Deneen, after giving such a stellar speech. And, she continued to impress us as she beat the odds for the next four years, attending high school at Harlan Community Academy in Chicago, maintaining a 3.7 GPA, joining the National Honors Society and the Young Business Development Institute, and maintaining a part time job. Although she’s had a lot of personal obstacles to overcome, she’s excited about starting college.
Please donate to ensure that we can support Deneen with transportation, fees to get Deneen get to her college orientation, and final move in date. With such an excellent start, we can only imagine how far Deneen will go! Please help reach the stars! DONATE HERE!
Thanks in advance
The girl group TLC sang about it 20 years ago, and it’s still a challenge on college campuses everywhere, that’s right making and breaking friendships.
In my latest blog series for JET, The Freshman Memoirs
, I feature current college students and the lessons they learned throughout their college careers. This serves as an excellent way to mentor incoming freshman so that they can be aware of the steps of a successful college career. This week, I highlight the experience of Nyia Fairley, a sophomore at Hampton University who shares her experience of maintaining a lifelong friendship in her first year of college. Check out Nyia’s story in JET here.
Interested in learning more about how I can connect and work with students on your campus? Send an email to kellyfairthementor@
gmail.com, and check out this brochure for Polished Pebbles, The College Edition here
Today, I’d like to share a story written by Dr. Jawanza Kunjufu in the “Black Star Journal” which is entitled, “Have Black Girls Been Overlooked?” “The Black Star Journal” is the news and events archive of The Black Star Project, an organization in Chicago led by Phillip Jackson. Kunjufu’s article highlights alarming statistics about the dire situation that many black girls are facing as they are being educated in schools across the country such as, high rates of illiteracy, high drop out rates, and some of the highest rates of school suspensions. For many us that have been closely involved with working with African American girls, this is not news. In fact, I’ve blogged about some of the research that this article is based on months ago. I share this today not as an attempt to object to or criticize the President’s National Initiative to support black boys, “My Brother’s Keeper.” Nor, should this be considered as an endorsement for much of the debate in the social media movement #WhyWeCantWait.
No, I am merely a mentoring practitioner who wants more in our community to recognize how much ALL of our youth, including our girls, are in need of support, resources, and advocacy in ensuring that our schools are providing our children with adequate educational opportunities. Because if it’s true that only 18% of black girls are proficient in reading, then etiquette lessons, girl empowerment conferences, and fun field trips are not enough to remedy this tragedy!
As you complete either major projects, summer initiatives, or even programming years with your youth mentoring programs, it’s always important to celebrate your victories through documentation and photographs. It’s a great way to historically document your achievements as an organization, the achievements of the youth that you serve, demonstrate the achievements of contributing staff and volunteers, and it also serves as some evidence of your potential impact as a youth mentoring program. This celebratory documentation can be in the format of individualized letters or communications with pictures directed towards specific stakeholders like partnering schools, organizations, and sponsors. You can share it in printed or electronic newsletters, or on social media as well. And, it also can give you a great opportunity to motivate potential donors to give to your organization as well. So, to mark the end of another successful programming year with my mentoring program Polished Pebbles I’ve decided to share some of our year-end newsletter with you! Enjoy!
And, if you feel moved….you can donate to Polished Pebbles Girls Mentoring Program here: GIVE!!!
A Jackson State University Student Share 4 Tips You Need To Know….
This summer, in blog series for JET Magazine, I’m featuring “The Freshman Memoirs” from current college students who want to share with incoming freshmen the experiences and advice they’ve learned in their college careers. In this week’s edition, William Owens, a rising senior at Jackson State University, shares tips that helped him successfully transition to living and studying in the South.
CLICK HERE TO READ THE ARTICLE!
Check out this six minute presentation I made about the necessity of changing the branding of Chicago’s youth culture! Let me know your thoughts! Leave a comment or tweet me at @kfairthementor!
Freshman Memoirs: From Chicago to The Cornfields
In my latest blog series for JET, “The Freshman Memoirs,” I feature current college students and their various experiences throughout their college careers.
This week, I highlight the perspective of a young black male undergraduate student, Yaw Kesse, who shares his lessons learned during his freshman year!
During the Polished Pebbles Volunteer Orientation a couple of months ago, we asked our volunteers to share their motivation for volunteering. There were a wide range of responses, but one thing that held true was the lasting affect of a supportive mentor relationship!
Watch the video of their testimonials & get the motivation to give back this summer to your community!