For this semester’s community service day, our girls led groups of middle school girls at the AKA’s annual STEM conference. From leading the girls to each session to helping them with materials and lessons in classes about smart social media habits, robotics, chemistry and even trademarks. Learning STEM and volunteering? Amazing.
Big thanks to our amazing Community Service Chair Jazmyn Singleton for planning this event!
This weekend our 16s had their annual Career Networking Brunch. This is an awesome opportunity for them to enjoy the most DC pastime after happy hour- brunch- while interacting with a group of young professional women with a variety of careers. This year’s brunch was sponsored by the ladies of Sisters Achieving Life Together, or S.A.L.T. SALT is a group of young women who go through life together, from socializing to supporting each other and even vacationing together. They didn’t just cook an awesome brunch for us, but they spent the morning telling the girls all about life, careers, school and everything in between. The brunch was so amazing that we had an MiT first, the girls were asking their favorite S.A.L.T. member to be their mentors before they would leave the house!
Surrounding our girls with amazing role models is what it’s all about and the women of S.A.L.T. certainly fit the bill. Thanks ladies!
This week a few lucky MiT 15s got to attend the Children’s Defense Fund’s 40th anniversary celebration at the Kennedy Center. Blanche Heard, an amazing member of the Dunbar Alumni Federation gave us these amazing tickets! We are so lucky that the Dunbar community is so supportive of us! After a pizza dinner at school the girls got all dressed up (SO glad we’ve given the girls some beautiful dresses over the last year, they all had something perfect to wear!) and we headed out to KenCen.
The girls (and some of the board members) had never been to the Kennedy Center before and it was wonderful to show them the gorgeous building, the gardens and the incredible view. But nothing compared to seeing the students of the Freedom Schools, the singers, cellists, and tap dancers who look like them, Geoffrey Canada and all of the INCREDIBLE stories of perseverance, determination and success in the face of incredible odds. So many of the evening’s speakers had faced the same situations that our girls are coming from right now and it was amazing for them to see young men and women with similar backgrounds telling their stories about how education, mentoring and hard work got them to that stage.
On top of all of that, the most incredible moment was hearing Marian Wright Edelman and Hillary Clinton speak. How lucky is that? For our girls to get to see and hear both of these amazing women on the same stage in the same night was extraordinary. It was an experience they’ll never forget.
We would never be able to give our girls these experiences without our amazing supporters. Thanks so much Ms. Heard!
This week was our first leadHER class with the 2016s. Our amazing leadHER Chair, Jazmyn, always has one of the best classes and this week was no exception. leadHER is all about leadership and community service and the girls spend this first class learning to define leadership (with a collage!), learning about their own leadership skills (with a really great self-assessment), going on a scavenger hunt to work on their group leadership skills, and finishing up the day with a moveHER class, which today was a dance class taught by Howard student Ebony Ingram. Ebony was an amazing dancer, the girls loved her so much they even asked for more stretching! She dances with Greenpoint Unlimited Dance, a great dance company that works with young dancers. It was a great class for our girls! My favorite part? The girls wrote letters to themselves, encouraging themselves to read when they are down. They all wrote pretty powerful stuff, I think Damoni’s line “Pick your head up high, you have a lot to be proud of” says it all. They’re such amazing girls.
We are so excited here at MiT, we’ve started our second year! We had our first class on Saturday with TWO classes, the 2015s and the new 2016s! So exciting. The girls met each other, the younger girls got to see Womble Carlyle for the first time, met the board members and teachers, and had their very first moveHER workout session! The older girls got to share their experiences in their first year of MiT and talk about everything they learned and how much they’re grown and met their mentors for the first time.
This is an especially exciting year for the girls, Dunbar High School has been rebuilt and is absolutely gorgeous. The students’ entire educational experience will be different in such beautiful surroundings. And on the first day of school all of the MiTs got gift bags with new t-shirts, pink planners, chocolate and more. Everyone is so excited for what the new year will bring, it’s going to be amazing!
As an end of the school year treat, we took a few of the girls from the class of 2015 and our brand new class of 2016 to a community service day! Our wonderful leadHER chair, Jazmyn, found out that the National Park Service was having a day to encourage more African Americans to visit national parks, so she signed us up for a community service project at the Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens. Kenilworth is pretty amazing, the gardens are beautiful and they’re right in Anacostia! Who knew?
Not only did the girls get to learn a little bit about planting grass and dealing with worms (you can guess how they felt about that one), they also got to meet Audrey Peterman, an amazing woman who travels the country and writes book to encourage more Blacks to visit National Parks. After lunch in the park we took the girls home and celebrated the end of our very first year!