During the holiday season there is a lot of talk about holiday giving–donating time or money to support our communities. And we don’t want you to forget that Polished Pebbles Girls Mentoring Program is an integral part of your community! And if you love us, then it just increases all the good feels that comes with donating. Continue reading
We all know that women are just as good as men when it comes to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) careers. Society has been pushing to close the gender gap for jobs in these sectors—successfully! But, this push towards gender equality in STEM hasn’t been felt equally across the fields. The number of men in technology/computing careers still ridiculously outweighs that of women. Continue reading
All this month we have been discussing healthy body image for our girls. This Saturday, November 14 we are hosting our Second Saturday event: “Too Tall, Too Skinny, Too…”. We will have guest speakers sharing their own journeys towards self-acceptance, self-love, and an overall healthy body image! Come listen to the owner of 360 Mind Body Soul Fitness studio, Ashanti Johnson! Continue reading
“Kelly Fair’s visit to the Duke University Women’s Center reflects two critically important theoretical frameworks which underpin our mission: women serving as engaged leaders and social justice. Kelly epitomizes both and we are excited for our students to engage with her.”- Dr. Stephanie Helms-Pickett, Director, Duke University Women’s Center Continue reading
For the month of September, we encouraged you to donate to Polished Pebbles Girls Mentoring Program. And we want to say, “THANK YOU!” It is because of supporters like you that we are able to provide our girls with enriching learning activities. While people have donated to Polished Pebbles for various reasons, we have here our top five reasons to support girls in your community! Continue reading
Black Girls Rock hosted their annual Black Girls Lead Conference this summer in New York, NY. It is an international leadership conference for young, black women to “offer girls tools and resources to become leaders, innovate, and serve confidently”. With 65 girls present from the U.S.A., Ghana, South Africa, Canada, and the UK, we are excited to announce that one of our own pebbles attended the conference! Tamia Davis, Polished Pebbles mentee and current summer intern at ThoughtWorks, attended the four day leadership conference in New York. Big thank you to the Microsoft store in Oakbrook for fully funding Tamia Davis. She learned a lot about herself and greater society during those four days and has a lot to share with you! Continue reading
I recently accepted an invitation to appear on the web-based forum, “Speak To Truth with Carl West”. During the conversation, the Mr. West was surprised when I mentioned my current volunteer work with organizations outside of Polished Pebbles. Though there seems to be a huge struggle among organizations over resources and funding, I choose to operate under the belief that there is enough to go around. And, after so many people have donated their time, energy and knowledge in assisting with the development of Polished Pebbles, it is only right to continue to pay it forward and help others. It was with this in mind that this blog space was created.
I love my community unconditionally. And I enjoy working with others who feel the same because sustainable community efforts require community ownership in order to make an impact. Creating a framework in which community members are engaged takes a great deal of effort and commitment, but I’d rather share my knowledge with those interested in stepping into the youth mentoring arena, than for them to learn the hard way.
Continuous giving aids in the cultivation of relationships and opportunities. So as I share my experiences, I look forward to hearing back from you. Please feel free to ask questions, as this is an interactive medium. For extensive inquiries or consultation, please contact me at email@example.com.
For the last four years, with Polished Pebbles, I have been empowering girls throughout Chicagoland to find their voices by equipping them with effective communications skills, providing access to proper mentors, and exposure to powerful life experiences. It has been an awesome experience to reach over 500 girls with the assistance of numerous organizations, businesses, and hundreds of volunteers and supporters. But, perhaps what’s been most amazing for me is the opportunity I’ve had to grow right along with the girls, personally and professionally. I often share with the girls that a big of part of my drive in starting Polished Pebbles lies in the truth that I too was a shy girl, and it took me until I got to college to really unleash my leadership abilities, and build my confidence.
I had a personal mentor of mine who always impressed upon me that “we’re always teaching, and we’re always learning.” I’ve had lots of growing pains building Polished Pebbles, and finding my voice in this new venture has been a journey. But, I’ve come to realize now that we’ve learned a lot in creating Polished Pebbles and growing it from a single site group mentoring program with less than 20 mentors and only 2 girls at our first monthly meeting, to a program that has served 500 girls through 15 program sites serving University of Chicago Charter Schools, Chicago Public Schools, and the Chicago Housing Authority. I feel impelled and that it’s my responsibility to our communities to share some of what we’ve grown through during this Polished Pebbles experience; this will include strategies that we’ve learned, and knowledge gained from staff, volunteers, partners, and of course our girls.
Every Thursday, you can expect a weekly update to this blog, “Kelly Fair The Mentor” including:
- Encouragement and support in realizing the role each of us can play in impacting our youth
- Tips and strategies on strengthening mentoring efforts in your communities
- Insight from our rock-star staff, volunteers, and families, and of course our girls!
As I continue to grow and develop along with Polished Pebbles, I look forward to sharing the journey with you.
A couple of weeks ago at our Polished Pebbles’ Open House for interested mentors and volunteers, over 50 women made the commitment to challenge themselves to declare at least one thing that they have to offer the Polished Pebbles girls, community, and organization. They participated in a 7-day social media challenge were they included things like:
Quite often far too many of us feel ill equipped to tackle the issues in our community, but the reality is that we have everything that we need for healing and empowerment! So, join us and declare at least one thing today that you have to offer the Polished Pebbles community, or the girls or youth in your community! Is it your commitment, positive attitude, marketing skills, fundraising skills? What do you have to offer? Please let us know below in the comments section.
If you’re interested in volunteering or mentoring with Polished Pebbles in Chicago, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our next mentor/volunteer orientation will be September 28th from 10 a.m.- 12 p.m. at the Chicago Urban League (4510 S. Michigan Avenue) or visit the Polished Pebbles page for more information http://www.polishedpebbles.com.