It takes a village to raise a child. It takes greater effort for that village to raise our young women. Not every family has the resources or support needed and provided by a village to help a child become mature and well rounded. Children with supportive parental figures – both biological and social – usually become healthy, well-rounded adults.
Mentors act as socially cool parents because, like biological parents, they have the child's best interest at heart. The Fly Girl Network fits the mold of a socially cool parent. Founded by Tiffany Ginyard in 2010, The Fly Girl Network (FGN) fills the gaps for those girls in underserved communities, foster care, and broken homes, but is also a resource for any young woman dealing with the normal growing pains of adolescence.
"After looking back on the serious challenges I faced as an adolescent, being raised by a single mother, and now being [a] single mother myself, I realized just how important access to support services is to shaping positive outcomes for youth," said Ginyard, who did not have the support of a mentor growing up.
Ginyard reaches out to these girls to prevent them from falling through the cracks and disappearing into the dark possibilities life could offer them. FGN is a non-profit youth development organization serving adolescent girls by hosting and sponsoring social, academic, and cultural events and activities to empower young women to make positive, sound decisions toward a promising future.
Ginyard works with young women (13-18) in the areas of self-esteem, building/maintaining healthy relationships, and developing leadership skills they can carry with them for life. A graduate of Baltimore City College, Ginyard uses her struggles around the same age as inspiration to guide the young women towards wise choices and the ability to see all the opportunities life has to offer.
Funding has not been easy. Ms. Ginyard has used her income, and received help from family, friends, and various fund-raising drives like the event pictured. She wants to create transitional housing for young women in the group without a safe place to stay and build upon many of the other programs and services FGN now offers.