Coming of age as a young woman of color comes with several obstacles for many. Many Black and brown girls across the country are disproportionately impacted by poverty, education inequality, unjust treatment within their schools, sexual harassment at higher rates than other races and other problematic circumstances that negatively affect their daily lives. The Power of You Teens—a New York City-based non-profit organization—was created as an avenue to empower girls of color and show them that their circumstances don’t determine the heights that they can reach.
Founded in 2014 by Felicia Gibson Jaycox, the organization was designed to help girls between the ages of 12 and 18 build a strong sense of self-esteem. POYT aims to nurture and empower the next generation’s leaders so that they are equipped to make an impact in their communities and beyond. The organization offers mentorship opportunities for girls where they are given guidance from women who are making moves in their respective fields and monthly group workshops that are designed to help girls cultivate a strong self-image, deal with anxiety, and learn how to set goals. POYT gives its participants the opportunity to pay it forward by participating in volunteer projects in their local communities. The program also exposes girls to arts education and STEM through workshops.
Each year POYT hosts The Empowerment Experience in Harlem; a free day-long event that features inspirational speakers, workshops and seminars, information about higher education and different career paths, entertainment, and a marketplace. The purpose of the event is to inspire young girls to reach their full potential. This year’s theme is “The Future is Female.”
“While girls of color have made progress in recent years, real challenges remain. We recognize powerful girls grow up to be secure and confident women setting the stage for their futures as innovative leaders,” Gibson Jaycox told NewsOne. “Our programs are designed to combat the negative influences many young women face. We want girls to be brave and walk boldly in their power. We want girls to be agents of change so they can make a positive impact in their community and the world.”
The next The Power of You Teens Empowerment Experience is slated to take place on October 6 in Harlem, New York. It’s being hosted to coincide with the International Day of the Girl.
Learn more about The Power of You Teens.