One of the greatest responsibilities of parenting is to instill a sense of confidence and self-worth in children. In our current culture, it’s especially important to help daughters feel empowered to make positive choices in a world that can often be cruel to girls. Inspire2Be, a faith-based community mentoring program focuses on supporting Toledo area girls ages 7-17 to become all they are meant to be. Through group activities, individual sessions, and life skill courses, Inspire2Be’s mission is to encourage girls and young women to know that they have an important role in society.
Creating the Vision
Inspire2Be was founded by Brittany Bates, a local RN, who describes herself as a woman of God, life coach, and mentor for youth. “Inspire2Be was truly a gift from God,” Brittany says. “It all started with a Facebook post: Do you know of any girls who could use a mentoring program? One of my friends from high school responded that she had a class full of young ladies that would benefit.” Brittany visited the class twice a week during the school year, then created a summer mentoring program which was very successful.
Now Inspire2Be meets once a month to discuss self esteem, current events, and to plan activities. Every other month, the group hosts community service events such as Career Day and the Breast Cancer Expo. “I know what it’s like to need a mentor,” Brittany says. “I suffered from low self esteem and poor self worth. I believe that if I had a program like Inspire2Be, I would have had a better childhood.”
The Power of Choice
Brittany’s vision is to teach young girls that they have a voice in our community and beyond. “In today’s society, there is a struggle to achieve the Girl Power we deserve,” Brittany recognizes. “Inspire2Be helps young ladies know that they are more than what society says they are and that God says they are beautifully and wonderfully made.”
The Inspire2Be program emphasizes the right for each girl to make their own choices, and then puts them to the test. Through group mentoring, the girls are guided in evaluating their decisions to determine if they are healthy or not. Brittany acknowledges that she made poor decisions when she was younger which ultimately lead to difficult consequences. “In a sense, I am helping the younger Brittany,” she says.
A New Confidence
Inspire2Be provides a host of activities and educational opportunities. Self esteem enhancement is one of the most vital aspects of the program. They offer an encouraging activity in which one girl sits in front of the group and all of the other girls say something positive about her. “It’s so amazing to see how the young lady responds to see that the others think she is smart, beautiful, etc.,” Brittany beams. “They go home with a new confidence.”
Brittany feels rewarded every time someone returns for another meeting. She has personally mentored a few girls, who have slowly grown in self-assurance, and takes pride in knowing that in this way, Inspire2Be is a huge success. “To see them blossom is amazing. Seeing the girls’ smiles and watching them work together brings me joy.”
To get involved with Inspire 2 Be, visit their website, 2inspire2be.com.
Email Brittany at firstname.lastname@example.org,to volunteer as a chaperone, community service coordinator, mentor and more.