“Eighteen and 19-year-olds – i.e., college age women – account for two-thirds of all those pregnancies. In one Virginia study, 24% of college women will become pregnant at some point during their college careers. In 2009, Utah women’s graduation rates were 6 percent below the rate of Utah men, and 2% below the national average of women.” (About.com/Young Adults).
I had the the pleasure of interviewing a very positive, giving, diverse, outgoing young lady by the name of Tyra Dennis. She is currently running for Miss California 2013 & founder of Saving Innocent Children. The 24 year old is singer, aspiring songwriter, & musician. I have been following Tyra on Twitter from sometime now & knew that she had a lot going for herself. I wanted to dig deep & get to know what her plans were for the rest of 2012. Check out our interview below.
Ashley: When it comes to your nonprofit Saving Innocent Children Inc. what are somethings that you wish to accomplish this year?
Tyra: With SIC, one of my dreams would be to give scholarships to high school seniors in need who are getting ready for college and who get accepted to college. I also would love to see SIC adopt it’s own location for a headquarters. A place where students can come during the week, after school, receive our services, study, and feel great about themselves. I would love to see this all happen before the end of the school year 2012-2013.
Ashley: What interest you in entering Miss California 2013?
Tyra: Believe it or not, I always had a dream of becoming a Cover Girl. I grew up seeing all of these amazing women as cover girls, such as Taylor Swift, Rihanna, Queen Latifa, and Drew Barrymore (just to name a few). Although they are all absolutely stunning, I thought to myself, all of them are high power celebrities. They are in the top 1% of the world of beauty and with their accomplishments as legendary icons. However, none of those ladies look like me and thats what I longed for as a young girl. I longed for a woman that looked like myself (an average looking, youthful, wide eyed and grinning young girl) to look up to when I opened the teeny bopper magazines and when I saw them in the commercials. As time progressed, I realized that the more celebrity you obtained, the higher your chances were of becoming “that girl”.
Tyra: Of course! I have worked with multiple youth organizations. Sometimes I taught them how to sing, act, dance or play an instrument. Other times, I directed them in teaching themselves how to overcome obstacles in fun and charismatic ways. Then there were those times where I would tutor them in an academic subject. No matter what I did, I ensured that everyday with Ms. Dennis was an adventure. I wanted my students to feel comfortable exploring the world around them and knowing the possibilities they had to obtain a better life. A life where they could live their dreams!
Tyra: The latest event for SIC will be in September with our upcoming school tour. We are excited to go to the schools and inspire students to become better individuals, strong leaders, academically successful and advocate for those less fortunate around them. Inspiration makes anything possible, and thats what we aim to do. Inspire the students! Stay tuned for our upcoming school locations!
Tyra: There are 2 things that I feel the youth of today need that they may no be getting. The first one is proper Educational Reform. If you look at old pictures of one room school houses, you will notice familiarity in the photo. It comes from students, sitting at a desk, looking at the front of the room where stands a teacher and a blackboard. Although we still have student in a desk looking towards a teacher with a blackboard behind them, 100 years later, the world has completely changed. We can see the world with either an airplane or the click of a button, but those things are not explored in the classroom as much. Education is not only what you learn in books but it is what you also learn at home, from your family and friends, your personal experiences, what you see, what you hear, how you feel, etc… Teachers, having to teach according to certain state standards, often times are not given the option to explore those possibilities.
Tyra: There is a certain type of joy that comes with working with youth that you can;t get anywhere else. Small children tend to be fearless. They are ready to explore the world around them. If they fall, they get back up and try again. As the child gets older, they are exposed to certain life experiences that teach them about ideals such as pain, anger, love, kindness, mean spiritedness, etc…and become less likely to take risk to achieve greatness. But then something magical happens. The child is then introduced to the idea of only achieving greatness. Failure is no longer an option and that’s what is most rewarding about working with youth. Knowing that you were there to introduce them to the idea of ONLY ACHIEVING GREATNESS! As they accomplish their goals and perform the impossible right before your eyes, you realize that it is possible for everyones dreams to comes true. That is a very magical and inspirational process.
Tyra: “Every child has a dream. Let us help them make their dreams come true.” (This is what I live by).
Our energy is needed for the changing of this world, but… you
knew that, right?
To introduce myself, I’m a new college freshman. And being
on campus is probably the best overwhelming feeling I’ve ever
felt. There are so many things to do here! As an active high
schooler, I naturally want to continue to do everything but…
my brakes are pumped for a minute. While I love the feeling of
getting involved, being social, and reaching out, I do not love
the burnt out feeling; I can say to you all today… I’ve experienced both to the extreme.
Whether you are a young woman in high school, college, or
even in younger years – that’s naturally active, or want to learn
ways to start getting involved – here’s a few tips to maintain the balance of giving back to your community and being active, and maintaining healthiness – mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually:
• Set a goal! We seem to be the most productive and efficient at getting things done when we’re
working towards something. Set a goal and even a few subgoals; you can reach all of them in
DUE time; it may not always be reached by the time YOU planned it, but keep working towards it; you’ll get there.
• Become a part of another organization. Find activities and initiatives that you are actually
interested in! Nothing can burn you out faster than being a part of something that isn’t of
interest; it’s difficult to be passionate about something that just isn’t real to you.
• You can always start something. Sometimes our ideas are a little intimidating and/or
unorganized, but the beauty of our ideas is that each one is unique in some way. Starting your
own project is an exercise in leadership, teamwork, and outreach. Organizing your ideas aren’t
always as hectic as it seems to be, find someone that can support you, do research, and build.
• Calendars are the managers. Time management is everything. Do not double book yourself;
commitment and being dependable gets your far. Also, double booking and not having enough
time can cause you to not complete your job effectively. We want to be able to deliver to the
best of our ability, so remember that it’s always quality (how well and thorough you are in your
work ethic) before quantity (how many jobs you take on).
• Network! Most organizations love partnerships. Meet other coordinators and directors, learn
from them, ask questions, seek out the common goals between yourself and that organization
and/or person. People are the building blocks; know them!
• Community can be your biggest fan and resource. An organization doesn’t run on it’s own;
even slighter, a vision doesn’t sprout on it’s own. Community will be your support system, whether that community is determined by proximity in location, goals, relationships, et cetera. Your new members and staff will be from your community, as will your tools for growth and expansion. Somebody know’s somebody somewhere! Your community is a network in itself – actually, your primary network.
•Submerge in + energy! Standing
for a cause can be energy
consuming and sometimes goes
awry when planning isn’t
implemented productively. But as
long as you have partners and
friends that fill your space with
positive energy, people that can
deliver, and supply uplifting
thoughts, you should be good!
Positive energy is essential to
daily life, let alone organizing
something; keep some good
•Do not say yes to everything! Ladies, we need not be burnt out. Who can we help if we don’t
have the energy to do so? Remember, calendars are the managers.
•Be aware of your entire person-hood and the fine print. Don’t squeeze things in for the the sake
of it. You are still a student, a sister to someone, someone’s daughter, your own self; you still
need to sleep, and eat, have fun, prioritize ‘me time’, and be human and healthy! Remember
that, and take it into deep consideration when working and scheduling.
•Drink water, cleanse, and exercise. Keep your body healthy. The healthiness of your mind and
good deeds only go as far as how cleansed your body is. We don’t want filth in our minds, keep
it out of our bodies, too.
•Reimburse yourself. For me, it’s prayer. Find anything you can to get back in touch with the
foundation of your self, your faith, your goals, your energy, your motivation.
I’m always available for any
clarifying question, follow up
conversations, support, as a
resource; anything at all, really.
I use myself to serve, and am
here for anyone.
@breannaoutcheaa – twitter
I personally went away to college & lived on campus all 5 years I attended.
So I know how it is once your financial aid is just about to run out, you need a meal, but you’re running out of the other essential items that a woman needs. Things like this makes a HUGE difference. And it’s one less stressful thing to deal with. I’ve always looked for programs like this for myself. I needed the assistance & now I’d like to bring it to life –Ashley S.
*1 care package can cost between $20-$25*
This is purely a case of “Girl talk” as if you were with your girl friends having this discussion.
So that doesn’t make them a professional regarding this topic. but strictly OPINIONS.
In no way are we (MYGirls) promoting/pushing you to take on or try what Ivy has suggested in the video.
We will be starting a Girl Talk segment here!
If you have a question related to girl related topics & would like it to be answered here on our blog, just email us at MentoringYG@gmail.com
(NAMES WILL BE KEPT CONFIDENTIAL WHEN POSTING QUESTIONS)
Nowadays, colleges and universities require community service to be a part of applications as a way to determine the character of an applicant. Don’t worry, community service comes in various forms and can be one the most rewarding experiences one can have. The easiest way to find a community service project or activity that will bring you fulfillment would be to make a list of all of your interests. You will find that you can do community service that relates to anything from dancing to architecture.
Once you have compiled a list of your interests, Google projects in your area or summer opportunities that fall in line with what you are willing to devote your time to. You never want to take on a community service project just to add to your resume. The more you are interested in a project, the more you will put into it and the end result will be amazing for both you and the individual or area you are servicing.
I will use myself as an example. Throughout high school, I developed a passion for being a role model for elementary school children in urban areas. As a way to devote my time to this age group, I reached to local elementary schools to see if they needed tutors or counselors for their afterschool program. Luckily, one of the neighborhood schools sent a memo to my high school looking for tutors for children in grades 3-5. This was the perfect opportunity for me to share my knowledge and guidance with the age group I was so interested in helping. You will find that your guidance counselors have various community service opportunities that will fall right in line with your passion.
The other great thing about community service is that you can always start a project if you fill a need is not being met. If you have a specific interest and can’t find an ongoing project that relates, I encourage you to round up a group of friends with similar interests and create your own. This will not only showcase your service attributes but it will highlight your leadership capabilities as well. Taking initiative will show what you are passionate about and the lengths that you will go to live your passion. That is what college and universities want! Well-rounded and passionate individuals!
Needless to say, the more activities that you become involved with, the more experience you will have to develop an amazing personal statement. You will be able to show an admissions committee all of the wonderful things that you stand for. Always be sure to develop and maintain great relationships with the organizations that you volunteer for as they can write stellar recommendation letters on your behalf. Recommendation letters and your personal statement are just as important as your GPA and SAT score. The scores provide your scholastic aptitude and your recommendation letters and personal statements showcase your positive attitude. Every institution of higher learning wants to be assured that they are admitting the most positive and academically focused students.
Some great websites to use when looking for community service opportunities are:
Or check out opportunities at your school and the local newspapers!
Serve and Achieve!!
Contributed by Lauren R. Jackson, MPA
Founder/Executive Director of IMANEE
Develop a list of majors that best fits who you are, what you are good at, as well as what you enjoy doing
- If you are a person who enjoys being around people, enjoys helping others, and works well with others in an effort to help them you might consider jobs in a service field such as social work, psychology, and nursing. Colleges have websites and booklets with program and course descriptions; utilize them to learn more about the list of majors that interest you.
- Colleges have core requirements that every student must take. Usually those requirements allow you to pick from a list of about four courses. Use the flexibility with your core courses to take classes in majors that interest you. This way you are exposed to the major and the course allows you to meet the core requirement. Some colleges require for their students to do community services in their first year. Use that as another opportunity to volunteer at an organization in your field(s) of interest.
- Often times when talking to people who have been where we are trying to go it provides us with clarity, guidance, and a different perspective. Colleges are full of organizations and clubs and a great deal of them are geared towards majors. Using the list that we used in the above, if there is a psychology club, find out when/where they hold meetings, and go visit. In the visit ask questions that you have regarding the major.
- After you have done all this, (if your list is still a list) you should have one or two that sticks out more than others. If you have more than one, IT IS OK, you have options. One of them can be a major and the other can be a minor. Or, you can double major in both, meaning that you will have a degree in two different fields of interest. The options of majors, double majors, and minors can be better explained by college advisors.