Save The Date! On September 19th, join us for a “Polished & Powerful” event to celebrate 5 years of serving Chicagoland girls with Polished Pebbles& my 35th birthday!
If you’re in the Chicagoland area, get ready to jump & celebrate 5 years of Polished Pebbles! As many of you may know Polished Pebbles, is the girls mentoring program that I founded five years ago, and continue to direct and operate and we are starting to celebrate our 5th anniversary, and will do so at our first Saturday session.
Polished Pebbles’ 1st Second Saturday’s Session of the year will be all about showing off your jump roping & double dutch skills!
Learn new moves from your friends & the talented ladies of Black Girls Jump at our kick-off event of the year!
When: Saturday, September 13th, 10 a.m.
Where: Chicago Urban League
(For girls ages 10-17)
My column, Stomping the Yard, on jetmag.com aims to help undergrads excel in their studies and social lives. We show you how to get it done, from the day you move into the dorms to the minute you step off campus for that first job. This week’s column helps all incoming freshmen by giving them a reality check on what to expect when moving on campus … CLICK HERE TO READ IT!
Please share with any new college students in your network!
By Tamara Meyerhoff, Polished Pebbles Intern
My mentoring responsibilities aren’t limited just to working with the school age -girls and female college students in Polished Pebbles. I also find a tremendous about of satisfaction mentoring college/graduate interns as well. I’m proud to share this blog post that was written by one of our summer interns Tamara Meyerhoff. Tamara is a senior at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota. She is majoring in Social Work with a concentration in Family Studies. This summer she attended the Chicago Center for Urban Life and Culture in Hyde Park. Through her classes she was able to experience the culture of Chicago, from the South Side to the North Side. Tamara also completed two part-time internships–one with me at Polished Pebbles, and the other with United African Organization.
Last week I brought to your attention the effect of the school to prison pipeline on black youth. The twitter conversation that followed brought up an important fact–mentoring alone is not the solution. As commenters have mentioned, there are systemic and institutional oppressions that are working against black youth, especially in the education system. It is intimidating to imagine tackling these large systems. We just have to remember that we make up the system, the government, the society. Changes starts with us. I strongly believe that everyday individuals are more than capable of inciting change. It takes energy, heart, and faith; but, it is possible. So, although small things, such as mentoring, may seem insignificant in the grand scheme, it is doing something. It is raising us out of our apathy.
Diane Latiker is a prime example of how a concerned resident, with an open heart, began to show the youth in her community the best of themselves. Kids Off the Block is located in one of Chicago’s underserved neighborhoods, Roseland. Diane works with the young men and women of Roseland to build a positive, safe, and creative environment for personal development. Kids Off the Block provides positive alternatives to youth to help them avoid the juvenile justice system. Similar to Polished Pebbles, she helps black youth see themselves in a new light. One that counters the harmful stereotypes. This self-esteem boosting mentoring style is not limited to organizations. It is something that all adults are capable of. Perhaps then, these children will move into another pipeline, the pipeline to careers. All children should grow up believing they have strength, endurance, confidence, and capability.