Hashtag Blessed

Hi hi! Unfortunately, another school year is rapidly coming to a close. Even though I haven't posted, we have still been meeting weekly. In the past month, we watched part of a documentary about a young girl in Africa and discussed the realities of her life. The following week was a question and answer session where the girls could anonymously ask me any question about being a girl/their body and I answered all of their questions. Lately I've been busy preparing for our very first RISE like a girl banquet this Friday. I invited all of the girls and their parents to my apartment clubhouse to celebrate all of the beautiful memories we have made together over the past 2 years. Half of my girls are graduating from elementary school and moving on to middle school so it's really important to me that we cherish our last moments together. 

While we're on the topic of special moments, let's take a walk down memory lane...

The photo on top was taken during our very first meeting. It feels like a million years ago. There's even a couple girls in that photo that didn't continue after that meeting. I was excited about the opportunity to teach what I learned in college to this bright-eyed group of 2nd and 3rd graders. The girls barely knew each other and I had never had that particular group all in one room before.  I had almost no expectations going into it because I honestly didn't know if they were even going to like it. My only goal was to create a space of growth and discussion in which growing up could be a little bit easier.  

The bottom photo tells a different story. This photo shows nineteen empowered young women that are redefining girl world every single day. Their sisterhood is obvious, their bond is unbreakable, and their future is in their hands. Over the last 2 years, they have lead insightful discussions about racial inequality, the glass ceiling, and social privilege. My relationship with them has grown into something much more than I ever imagined. They are not only my (former) students, but they are my family. I used to think that RISE was about me teaching them, but in reality, their presence in my life has been my greatest lesson. 

These girls have my heart. Sometimes when I look around and listen to them speak, I can't help but think about how blessed I am. 
I created this. I did! How cool!  
Every minute that I spend creating lessons, writing blogs, posting on social media, and meeting with the girls proves that I am living my dream. I really am. RISE has become something way more than I thought possible back when that first picture was taken. I never thought that I'd be having students and parents begging me to get an opportunity to be in RISE like a girl. I never could have dreamt of the complete transformation I've witnessed as my girls have grown into the most beautiful people I've ever met. And lastly, I never would have predicted the impact they have made on me. My life is forever changed because of the way my girls & their families have welcomed me, validated me, and encouraged me to pursue my dreams. I am incredibly blessed. 

And thank YOU for loving and supporting us. Whether it's from reading my blogs, to liking my Facebook posts, to buying a shirt, your dedication is truly appreciated. Blessings on blessings on blessings! 

Check back this weekend for a special surprise! 

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