Raejean Davis was excited to share her story with the 45 guests at Girls Inc.'s October dinner at Cafe Society in Midtown.

"It was an amazing feeling that I can have value," Raejean said, "and that people wanted to take their time out for me."

DSCN0245 smallThe four-course meal, hosted by Chef Cullen Kent, included produce from our very own Youth Farm. it was a yummy way to share the Girls Inc. story with new and old friends alike.

Raejean was among six Girls Inc. girl who served dinner to guest and shared personal stories about waht Girls Inc. has meant to them. They each gained behind-the-scenes knowledge of the restaurant industry, were able to network with leaders in the community and strengthened their public speaking skills. 

Diners also heard from president and CEO Lisa Moore and former Girls Inc. girl and incoming board president Adriane Williams, who shared personal stories as well as her reasons for staying involved with Girls Inc. over the years.

Many guests expressed how impressed they were with the young women and how inspired they are by what Girls Inc. of Memphis is doing in the community. Each guest left full of Chef Kent's delicious food AND full of knowledge of the many ways to support Girls Inc. through financial contributions, job placements and volunteering.

If you would like to learn about these opportunities, visit our volunteer page or click here to donate.

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Photo by Kyle Kurlick

An organization that supports the empowerment of girls celebrated a harvest at its 9.5-acre farm Saturday in Frayser where youth learn to grow and sell produce.

The Girls Inc. of Memphis youth farm, located on Dellwood near Baskin, is distinct in teaching the girls economic freedom and how to run a business, said Adriane Williams, a Girls Inc. board member.

"I really want for girls to recognize they have the ability to control their own lives," Williams said.

The girls grew a variety of vegetables this year, including carrots, black cherry tomatoes, mustard greens, collard greens, turnip greens, sugar snap peas, kale, spinach and arugula.

Girls Inc. of Memphis has worked with girls since 1947, inspiring them to be "strong, smart and bold," said Lisa Moore, the organization's president and chief executive officer.

"Today we're celebrating a gorgeous day," Moore said. "It's fall harvest. And we're also experiencing and enjoying our latest program, the Girls Inc. youth farm. It's a leadership and entrepreneurship program for high school girls where they're hired to run the business of an organic farm."

The youth farm aims to provide a welcoming and educational space as well as a source of healthy food. They farm on about 1.5 acres and also keep honey bees.

Girls Inc. tries to create an environment that is "pro-girl," building on their strengths and promoting their talents, Moore said. The girls also learn about their bodies and health.

Mattie Reese, 18, and Nikeishia Davis, 17, in red t-shirts with GROW printed on the back, walked through the wide, sunny fields Saturday pointing out where the lettuce, peppers, eggplant and sunflowers had grown.

Reese said she has learned entrepreneurship through Girls Inc., which she has been involved in since she was 6 years old. She explained how the girls would plan their days under a tent at the youth farm, discussing their weekly sales goals and what to plant in the spring and fall.

Davis, who joined in June, said the organization has taught her to step outside her comfort zone.

"I know that I can do anything I put my mind to," Davis said. "And I know I can do anything a man can do."

For more information, visit girlsincmemphis.org.

Source: http://www.commercialappeal.com/news/youth-farm-celebrates-harvest-empowerment-of-girls-2470495d-314f-0244-e053-0100007fd4b7-349108081.html

IMG 5811When local beekeeper Louis Padgett paid a visit to the Girls Inc. Youth Farm, the girls he worked with were, understandably, a little hesitant.

"We're not going to mess with them today, right?" one farmer asked.

All that passed one the bee-master got down to business. He spoke to the girls about everything from entrepreneurship to the importance of bees to the ecosystem - like the fact that honeybees are responsible for pollinating 1/3 of the food that is eaten worldwide.

Next the girls were guided in the process of building their own beehive, which will see its first bee resisdents next spring. With guidance from Louis and encouragement from each other, they went from girls who had barely used a hammer to power tool pros who can't wait for their next project.

Then it was time to get to know some bees.

The session was scheduled to end with a photo of the girls in protective beekeeping suits, but they weren't about to stop there! Armed with new knowledge and appreciation for bees, the girls accompanied Louis on an inspection of the farm's existing hives. Thanks to the Memphis Area Beekeeper's Association, there were plenty of suits and hive smokers to allow the girls to safely explore the bee's world.

It was a high-water mark for the girls - they challenged themselves to safely face a once-terrifying thing and walked right into the thick of their fears. They took initiative and ownership and we couldn't be prouder. They truly embodied the spirit of bold.

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Local girls are giving back to benefit women across the globe.

Girls Inc. of Memphis has spent the entire week celebrating International Day of the Girl by hosting a Sew-a-Thon.

High school junior Majesty Mason learned how to sew for the first time, and it's helping her make a difference in other women's lives.

"There're a lot of girls that don't have the opportunities that some of us have been blessed with, and I just thank God that we have the opportunity to help others and give back to them," she said.

Mason was just one of more than 100 volunteers at Girls Inc. of Memphis who spent the day sewing personal hygiene kits for women in third world countries.

Dora Brown-Harris said it's important for women in other countries to have the same sort of access we do.

"We really wanted to give them something as a part of Day of the Girl in order to help them be able to go to school and really become productive in their society over there," she said.

She said this project is important because it teaches young girls in the community teamwork, something Mason said is helping her.

"It helps me to develop a giving heart and not to be so selfish and to think of others before I think of myself," she stated.

"It gives them a chance to give back to someone else and it empowers them because they take that leadership role. They actually went on the Internet, researched different countries and decided where they wanted to send them, so they play a big role in this. They helped in collecting donations," Harris explained.

The goal is to put together 100 feminine hygiene kits.

The girls plan to send them off next Friday.

Source: http://wreg.com/2015/10/16/girls-inc-of-memphis-gives-back-on-a-global-scale/


Empowering girls and a new generation of women leaders is the global civil rights issue of our time. It takes a village to unlock a girl’s tomorrow in today’s world. Girls Inc. is one of the critical keys to opening that door for thousands of Memphis girls. I am a proud supported because I believe that it is men who have to step up when it comes to the current plight and future hopes of all the girls within our reach. - Rabbi Micah Greenstein
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