January is National Mentoring Month, so we took the time to meet women who mentor teen girls through Gals Lead, part of the Dream Queen Foundation. The foundation was created to serve women and girls, to support one another and celebrate their dreams. Their programs and events offer opportunities to align girls’ careers with passion and purpose.
We had the opportunity to meet with Gals Lead facilitators Tatonya Holman, Dee Scott, Maryanna Lanham, Beth Graeme, Maria Thorpe, and Kim Bannister to get more insight on the program and what it means to be a mentor.
Why did you decide you wanted to become a Gals Lead Facilitator?
Dee: I saw a need in young ladies and wanted to be a part of the solution. I attended a similar program as a teenager and valued the impact it had on my life as a young adult.
Kim: I am passionate about helping others and mentoring teen girls to assist them in navigating the many challenges they have and will continue to face.
Beth: I’d been a member of the association for a long time, and it had a big impact on me and my business. I knew that impact may help someone else.
Maria: I wanted to give back to my community and prepare young ladies for opportunities and future possibilities relating to dreams they have for their future.
Which activity for teen girls is your favorite?
Tatonya, Maria, Beth & Kim: Sister Circle! A fundamental Gals Lead initiative, it is a safe space to openly share vulnerabilities, deepen connections, and grow from one another.
Dee: One of my favorite activities is the development of the vision board. Helping them to set goals and write them down is part of helping them to take action.
Maryanna: I enjoy the open conversations on topics that are exciting to them. I love seeing each of them change their points of view and learn to empathize with one another.
If someone wanted to become a facilitator, what advice would you give them before they get started?
Tatonya: Get certified, and make sure you share your authentic self. It is so important for the girls to see truly who you are.
Kim: Patience and communication is key.
Maria: Come prepared to listen and have an open heart to discuss life challenges through the eyes of a young woman.
Do you have a personal style in facilitating?
Tatonya: If you ask the right questions, you will be able to have them open up.
Beth: I like to ask open-ended questions and if no response, I like to share personal stories to help guide the thought process.
Tell us about a specific girl in your club you feel the program had a major effect on:
Tatonya: Heather entered the Club with a yearning to learn and because of her excitement she shared with her friends who also joined the Club. She became our teen ambassador.
Dee: I met the mother of one of the young ladies. The mom shared how the club helped her daughter and the positive impact I had.
Maryanna: We had a girl in our group that was soft-spoken and had very little confidence. I enjoyed watching her become confident in herself.
Beth: Yes, my daughter. She struggled with bullies and a debilitating disorder. She was depressed. I watched her blossom in confidence and her overall happiness increased significantly.
How do you feel being a facilitator has changed your life?
Dee: Positively – it provides a platform and audience that I can pour into. Helping young ladies to develop confidence in themselves, recognize their leadership potential, and overcome challenges is my way of giving back.
Maryanna: It helped me step up my personal game. I feel that if I am going to hold them to standards and positivity, I must do those things for myself.
Kim: I’m more patient, I listen to understand more.
Sign Up for Gals Lead Today!
Gals Lead Teen Mentorship Program is growing, and the organization is seeking mentors. If you are interested email Maryanna@dreamqueenfoundation.org. Kudos to all the women in Gals Lead and to every mentor in the community. You are truly making a difference in the lives of those you serve.