CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — Recent studies have shown that young girls with role models from within their community tend to be more successful, which is the logic behind a new mentoring program in the Capitol City.
The Fun Fitness Foundation Inc. and Markel Marketing have collaborated for the “Girls with Goals” mentoring program that promotes mental and physical health for youth in Kanawha County. The initiative was made possible by a 2019 Community Living BRIDGE grant from the WV Governor’s Herbert Henderson Office of Minority Affairs, Press Sounds, The JBurke Project and Silhouette Boutique.
“It was more so that I was self-taught, everything I did, I had to teach myself how to do,” explained Leeshia Lee, the woman behind the program. “I am trying to be the person that I needed when I was younger.”
“We just focus on not only being pretty, but being intelligent,” explained Adaliah Faucett, a freshman at Capital High School. “These women, our mentors, have shown us that you can do it. You can do anything.”
The handful of girls selected range in age from 14 to 20. They all have different goals and attend different schools, but they’ve created a bond that has proven to strong. They meet with local business owners and connect with other successful women within the community. They also participate in health exercise and fun events like photoshoots.
“Life is all about balance. Live a healthy life and don’t give up on your goals. If you want to do something, YOU have to put in the work, but you can do it,” added Lee.
“I am not as confident but I want to try new things. This has helped me come out of my shell a little bit,” added Natalyia Sayles, a junior at Capital High School.
The group was planning a virtual fashion show with Silhouette Boutique in Charleston, but the event had to be postponed because of COVID-19. Lee hopes to someday take the girls to New York Fashion Week.
“If it’s possible here in Charleston, it’s possible in other parts of the world. There is no reason these young ladies can’t take their talents to NYC. Anything is possible.”
Lee says the group is always looking for other women to serve as mentors. You can find more information by clicking here.