I have been very lucky, through this blog, to meet and have the privilege of interviewing some phenomenal people. One of these amazing women is Rasheda Kamaria the founder and Chief Empowerment Officer of Empowered Flower Girl. Empowered Flower Girl is an organization that provides motivational workshops and clothing that inspire girls and young women to live powerfully. It is my honor to be interviewing Rasheda today.
TM: How did Empowered Flower Girl begin?
RKW: I came up with the idea of Empowered Flower Girl back in 2005 when I was writing a manuscript for a guide book for girls. I always wanted to be an author and even thought of self-publishing a book. A couple years into the process, I encountered several teachers and parents who were asking about workshops to help teen girls resolve issues with cyberbullying and drama. That motivated me to turn my text into workshops.
TM: Why is it so important for a girl to have a mentor?
RKW: Mentors make a difference for people of all ages, especially girls. Even as early as elementary school, girls are building their social circles. They’re being included and excluded among their peers. The need to belong and connect is almost as powerful as the need to be fed.
Having positive female role models can transform their lives. A positive role model gives them that sense of connection they seek. I met my mentor when I was 13. She was my supervisor at my first summer job. Seeing a fun, down-to-earth, compassionate and humorous business professional helped me realize that grownups can work corporate jobs and have exciting social lives too. She showed me how to be effective at work and was the first person to teach me about ethics.
TM: Tell me about the motivational workshops you offer for girls.
RKW: Empowered Flower Girl offers engaging content that inspires youth, teachers, parents and the community. From workshops combating teasing, cyberbullying and cliques, to programs encouraging goal-setting and career exploration, Empowered Flower Girl helps schools and organizations address critical social issues in a way that empowers and entertains.
Our most popular workshop is Chica Chat, which is designed to foster positive and empowering relationships among girls and young women ages 11 to 18. Participants have the opportunity to be self expressed, heard and understood by their peers and adult mentors in a supportive, safe and accepting environment. Additionally, girls learn the art of networking by participating in fun and engaging icebreaking activities, written exercises exploring stereotyping and rumors and a Q&A session where they have the opportunity to ask questions anonymously that are answered by their peers with facilitation by adult mentors.
TM: What are ways we can grow the self-esteem of girls in our own communities?
RKW: I am a proponent for mentoring and modeling behavior so I definitely believe that mentoring girls – formal or informal – is a tool for building self-esteem in girls. Girls need to see women who are confident and pursuing their goals. The more we speak with optimism and hope for the future, the more they’ll actually believe that it is possible for them to achieve their own dreams.
TM: How can people help your organization?
RKW: People can help Empowered Flower Girl by spreading the word about our company and interacting with us online (@efgempowered; facebook.com/empoweredflowergirl). We’re more than a company that sells stuff – we’re on a mission to transform the way girls think of themselves. We want them to know that their age doesn’t limit them. Even as tweens and teens, they can have an impact in their own lives and in the world.
If you know of or represent an organization that you would like to see highlighted on my blog, please leave me a comment below, or shoot me an email firstname.lastname@example.org