Thank you for 4 years of support!

Dear friends,

This year marks 4 years since our flagship mentorship program, Young Women Rock!, was born in Brooklyn, New York. It seems like just yesterday that I was pitching the program to principals of Brooklyn public high schools while working 12-hour shifts at a different job. In the first half of 2012, we ran the program as a pilot at Thomas Jefferson High School in East New York, Brooklyn, where more than 30% of the population lives below the poverty line. With a classroom full of adolescent girls aged 14 to 18 and college-educated mentors mainly from East New York, but also from the broader Brooklyn and New York City community, we were ready to go. The connections that were built between mentors and mentees that semester and every semester thereafter were beautiful and impactful. This is what drives us forward.

After the pilot phase and an interview with MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry, the program quickly expanded to reach the Brownsville community. We moved our sessions from the high school to a local community center with the sponsorship of the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA). Now, in 2016, the program operates in Brooklyn and the South Bronx, and we have hopes of expanding to Queens in the near future. Over the year-long program, we have seen the girls grow more confident, identify as leaders, believe in their self-worth, and discover their true potential. In terms of fulfilling her potential – we have seen every participant be accepted to a 4-year college. We cannot wait to see what they continue to accomplish and we are grateful we have been a part of their journey.

With your support, we’ve empowered nearly 100 girls to forge their own paths out of poverty, while breaking barriers, increasing opportunity and confidence, and building life-long support networks.

We are a small team of young professionals, but your support allows us to dream big with the youth of New York City and beyond. We are especially appreciative of the support we continue to receive from the communities we serve. It is their enthusiasm for the program and our mentors that motivate us to keep going and growing. Thank you also to Susila Dharma International Association and Swiss Reinsurance for their generosity over the years and commitment to girls’  education.

If you’re interested in becoming a mentor in the 2016 cycle, or know teenage girls in Brooklyn and the South Bronx that could benefit from the program, please reach out to our Program Manager at jessica@womenworldwideinitiative.org.

On behalf of everyone at The Women Worldwide Initiative, I wish you and your family a wonderful new year ahead.

Sincerely,

Uraidah Hassani

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