“I strive to help young girls ages 10-16 to reach their maximum potential by staying positive, practicing abstinence, and building a strong self foundation. ” Akira (Executive Director) http://whynotwaitmentoring.com/
“Why Not Wait? is a non-profit organization brought to life in June 2010 by Akira J. Dixon in Brookhaven, Mississippi. This organization seeks to educate young girls ages 10-16 on the important fundamentals of transitioning into young women. This education ranges from activities to boost self esteem to proper knowledge of the importance of sexual abstinence. Why Not Wait? volunteers strive to create an open door policy so that these caterpillars can cocoon into beautiful butterflies. If only one girl decides to lengthen her future through the program, then Why Not Wait? has successfully set out to do what it has been designed to.”
Ashley: Why did you decide to start your own organization?
Akira: I was in the library of my hometown trying to fax a few things off. I glanced around and I saw a young girl who was pregnant. I knew she had to be at least 15. After a brief conversation with her, I learned she was only 12 and my heart crumbled. I knew then that I needed to do something. Anything I could do, I felt like I had to.
Ashley: Who helped you along the way?
Akira: Immediately, I reached out to my best friend, Candace Turner, and gave her insight on my goal. She was so supportive and offered to help. I then reached out to other girls that I knew that could relate and asked them to be volunteers. I wanted young, fresh faces.
Ashley: What made you want to focus on helping young girls to stay positive, and practice abstinence?
Akira: I wanted to create a foundation of love. For so many reasons, I think young girls go searching for love in all the wrong places. If I focus on self love and teach them to remain abstinent, I think they will reach their full potential in life.
Ashley: What are some of the challenges of operating your own non-profit org?
Akira: The biggest challenge is getting started and actually presenting your mission to the world. Although, it’s a positive step, people aren’t the greatest receivers of something new. Getting starting takes a lot of dedication and a lot of time. You always need help and finding someone with your same passion is hard.
Ashley: How do you come up with different ideas for your events?
Akira: I listen to my girls. I see what they like and what they want to do. Once I hear them out, I try to come with something that’s within their likes but within what I’m trying to teach. Every event has a theme or main idea.
Ashley: What are some of the pros & cons of starting your own nonprofit org?
Akira: PROS: It’s yours. You have the creativity and your vision in action, which is the most rewarding thing ever. CONS: Funding. They are so many things you may want to do but as a non profit organization you have to consider what will be your source of income. Federal grants are available but require time and effort.
Ashley: What are your thoughts on non-profits collaborating with one another?
Akira: I think it’s not only a great idea for non profits to collaborate but I think it’s also effective. No matter the cause, there is always strength in numbers.
Ashley: How do you get parents/guardians and their girls interested in your non-profit?
Akira: With my non profit, I get parents and girls interested by creating events and activities for them to do together. Competitions and one-on-one events are always a great way to build strength and bonds between parents and the girls.
Board Of Directors
Executive Director: Akira K. Dixon
Do-Director: Chastity Longino
Secretary: Mieshia C. Smith/Argie Dixon
Treasurers: Rita Robinson/Monica Bates
Public Relations: Candace C. Turner
I really appreciate Akira, as I call her Kira. She has a very kind heart and a very helpful individual. I first approached her in November 2010 via email asking a few questions which turned into more than a few. I told her I was interested in starting my own nonprofit and whatever information she had to share with me that would help me along my journey, that would be great! She went above and beyond when she shared different information. I told her I had told her at the time, that I may do a blog post about the different questions I had asked her. It took me a few months to decide if I was going to share this information with others (lol). But since I started this blog, separate from my beauty blog, I said why not. The more exposure her nonprofit gets, the better. So this is how this interview came about. And she maybe tired of me thanking her (like I always do in every email), but thank you so much Kira for answering my questions, and making me feel like I can do so. I wish you, and your nonprofit nothing but the best, and I hope we can keep in contact!