Hello Again my Sisters,
I saw something so special the other day in the elementary school where I teach. A bubbly and excited fifth grader came out of his classroom, holding the hand of a younger student, perhaps in kindergarten. Each time the two kids passed a teacher in the hallway, the older student proudly declared, “Look! I’m being a role model!” Each adult smiled and chuckled in reply because the exchange was adorable. But beneath the cuteness of it lies a serious message for all of us, sisters: there is a whole generation of young people growing up today who need us to grab their hands as readily as this young student did in my hallway.
Renowned life coach, Rasheed Ogunlaru, said it this way:
Every great athlete, artist and aspiring being has a great team to help them flourish and succeed – personally and professionally. Even the so-called ‘solo star’ has a strong supporting cast helping them shine, thrive and take flight.
If you visit some of this nation’s most deprived neighborhoods, you’ll see that some of our girls’ flights to greatness are being grounded. Grounded by a broken education system. Grounded by poverty. Grounded by a fractured family structure. By highly sexualized images in media that pass the message that we, females, are objects to be used and discarded. In a country with so many opportunities for girls to soar into success, there are also just as many roadblocks set up on the runway.
So what can we do, as a community and as women of faith? We’re working, mothering, studying, and struggling ourselves. Time and finances are tight for all of us.
Actually, it doesn’t always take a huge commitment of either resource to touch a life. All it takes is a willing heart, some creativity, and a few good sister-friends. Here are three ways to touch a girl’s life in a positive way.
1) Go back to class! Do you have daughters, nieces, siblings, friends’ children who attend a local school? Schools often need volunteers to come in and share their time, interests and talent. Can you read aloud to kids? Help with homework? Assist in an afterschool program (dance, drama, creative writing, science experiments)? Could you come in and share about your profession or course of study? This could be a one-time event, a monthly commitment, or just something you do once in a while. The important thing is to be present, to model what a caring, positive woman looks like for our younger sisters.
2) Hold a Vision Board Party! Have a few positive sister friends? Invite them over to your place. Get them to bring their daughters, or some of the kids from your church and community. Lay out a few snacks, some poster board, some glue and have at it! Create vision boards: visual posters that detail a person’s dreams for their future. Discuss motivation and goal setting. Encourage each other to stay focused!
3) Hold an Info Share! Think of three of your best girlfriends, and just take a moment to list your resources. Ask yourself: What professions do you each hold? What knowledge do you have about college and careers? Anyone experienced with writing resumes? Are any of you into health and nutrition? You may think you have little to offer to young women, but really you and your colleagues are rich with wisdom and information. So get in touch with some church or community youth and hold a little afternoon share session. So many teens and young adults need a mentor who can speak from experience, listen with patience, and discuss without judgment.
Sisters, I had a great aunt who would always encourage me to do something no matter how small. By doing so, you’re planting a seed that will one day grow into something mighty. And if each of us sows a seed in one girl’s life, the harvest will be amazing!
The Sister Hood: Thoughts to Inspire, Uplift, and Support Women of Faith By: Kelly Wade