Project Encouragement seeks to assist young ladies in imagining, identifying, obtaining and fulfilling their life’s goals. The program links young ladies in high school with women of diverse backgrounds and professions. These relationships are formed for mentoring in the areas of career exploration, financial empowerment and esteem building. They are also established to promote a sisterhood and a permanent support system.


Project Encouragement began as a desire to improve the images of young girls in the Washington Metropolitan area and provide direction and assistance to them as they prepare for their futures. Often times, young girls riding local transportation lace their speech with profanity; pose unladylike, and sometimes cause unease among riders. Local school administrators consistently complain of dealing with behavioral issues that impede their ability to provide the educational direction for which they contracted. Local media consistently report on young girls wreaking havoc among the community. Our children are our future. To ignore them and not give them direction is writing a prescription for a dismal future for our children and for the societies to come after us.

This program was born from the belief that while today’s society does not fully recognize, guide or encourage young ladies to aspire to reach their greatest potential, we can make a difference through reassurance, esteem building and most importantly, encouragement. Project Encouragement was born also from the desire to honor those people in our lives who were encouraging and supportive to us, and who made a positive difference in our lives.

In 2004, Project Encouragement became a reality, a living, breathing entity.

Program Elements

Project Encouragement is a teen program designed to guide young ladies into womanhood. The program focuses on young ladies in high school, freshman year through post-high school, with the older participants assisting the younger participants as mentors, sharing experiences and learning. It is a supplemental education program emphasizing self-esteem, goal setting, cultural identities and heritages.

School personnel, with the concurrent support of counselors and teachers, identify participants. They must have a minimum grade point average of 2.0. They must be committed to the program for the duration of high and a minimum of one year post-graduation. They must have a strong desire to successfully complete high school and identify at least one career interest. There is no cost to participants. The Project Encouragement Board of Directors selects workshops and seminars. Sample workshops are:

  • Financial planning workshops
  • Cultural activities such as theatres, historical sites, museum excursions, etc.
  • Health and Safety programs
  • Job shadowing at various organizations
  • Interviewing skills and resume preparation

College preparatory activities include junior and senior high students’ retreats designed to help students with the college and financial aid application process and participation in college fairs. Life coaches assist in the development of career objectives and goals. Participants are required to maintain a journal of their experiences.

Program Goals

We at Project Encouragement have a strong desire to make change within society. Project Encouragement is a dream realized. Although a local program, the desire and vision for the program is to expand among cities across the country. In order for this to happen, funding is a necessity. The initial program had a benefactor whose personal funds allowed its implementation. However for this local program to progress and succeed, funding is needed.

This program can succeed because past experience has taught us that those with a purpose and direction in their lives can achieve great things. The child without direction is just that and wanders from one bad situation to another. Statistics and history have proven this to be true. Project Encouragement wants to change this prophecy.

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