So, around these parts, I’m always talking about my goal to empower women.
I got to walk the walk and talk the talk this weekend, by going back to my hood and speaking to some young ladies at the new, spectacular, ballerific Boys and Girls club facility. This place is beautiful and breeds creativity.
This place is gorge.
There were about just over a dozen girls there ranging in ages from 10-20 and we talked to them about going to college, career opportunities, trying new things, bullying, popularity, etc.
I was over the moon.
I was in my element. I really enjoyed sharing my experiences and giving advice.
But there was one girl. Who stood out.
She wasn’t afraid to ask questions, and she was the first to shoot up her hand.
And what did she want to be when she grew up?
An investigative journalist! Ding, ding, ding.
It was like Jesus himself shone a light on this girl and said, “My child. Mentor this child.”
My best friend was in attendance to support me and she kept saying over and over, “Oh my God. This is scary. I thought the Universe was supposed to implode if you ever met a younger version of yourself. Like, you just aren’t supposed to.”
I played it off, but I knew she was right.
This little girl talked about loving to be in the poetry club, and how her friends think sometimes she’s too intense and too deep. She was encouraging to the other girls in the group and talked about even if you aren’t popular you should join different kinds of clubs to meet other people who like the things you like and make more friends that way.
I pulled the old mentor trick to see how for real she was…
Here’s my email. Please contact me if you are really interested in getting more information or you need help with your goals to become a journalist.
Little me had the nerve to hit me with an email first thing the following day. Then she said, she was sorry she didn’t email me the same day we met. Oh, I laughed a good laugh. This little girl is for real.
I see a young hustler beast in the making. She started asking me questions about summer internships and how she can get started. She asked about what major and minor should she look into.
Was she a high school senior, prepping for college?
Hell naw. She’s 14. This is why I call her Me:6.0. I knew I wanted to be a journalist when I was that young, but I wasn’t thinking about majors and minors at that time. Her reason for interest in investigative reporting? She wants to write stories about the government and expose evils and such. Oh, God bless her little heart.
She really doesn’t know what large media companies have been reduced to and that she needs to investigate and expose them too!
But we’ll get to that later. I wouldn’t dare squash her dream. She can write in-depth, investigative stories, but she will have to find other mediums and they are out there.
I give her props, because at her age, I would have been too nervous to contact a speaker from a program, even if that person did seem really interesting.
I told her she was already a natural and I’d be delighted to help.
I have already started to devise a plan to see if we can get her a little job at our tiny, super-local community paper. I feel like they are so small, they’d be nuts to turn down any kind of help. I’ve offered to write a recommendation letter and talk to their editor to see what we can do. I told her I can’t promise anything, but we are going to try.
I also told her to make sure she tells her mother we are speaking by email, to discuss our emails and call my cell phone to talk to me personally, to learn more about me and decide if she feels comfortable with me mentoring her daughter.
The funny thing is, as cliché as it is, going to talk to these girls did more for me and my esteem and helped pump me up probably more than me helping them.
I’m beyond thrilled I met a young lady interested in my field and maybe just maybe, I can help her achieve her goals.
I’m floating on air! Can’t wait to really help this girl. I’m going to go nuts if we can land her a little job at the newspaper.