Career Networking Brunch with S.A.L.T.

This weekend our 16s had their annual Career Networking Brunch. This is an awesome opportunity for them to enjoy the most DC pastime after happy hour- brunch- while interacting with a group of young professional women with a variety of careers. This year’s brunch was sponsored by the ladies of Sisters Achieving Life Together, or S.A.L.T. SALT is a group of young women who go through life together, from socializing to supporting each other and even vacationing together. They didn’t just cook an awesome brunch for us, but they spent the morning telling the girls all about life, careers, school and everything in between. The brunch was so amazing that we had an MiT first, the girls were asking their favorite S.A.L.T. member to be their mentors before they would leave the house!

Surrounding our girls with amazing role models is what it’s all about and the women of S.A.L.T. certainly fit the bill. Thanks ladies!

leadHER: Scavenger Hunts, Letters to Ourselves and Dance!

This week was our first leadHER class with the 2016s. Our amazing leadHER Chair, Jazmyn, always has one of the best classes and this week was no exception. leadHER is all about leadership and community service and the girls spend this first class learning to define leadership (with a collage!), learning about their own leadership skills (with a really great self-assessment), going on a scavenger hunt to work on their group leadership skills, and finishing up the day with a moveHER class, which today was a dance class taught by Howard student Ebony Ingram. Ebony was an amazing dancer, the girls loved her so much they even asked for more stretching! She dances with Greenpoint Unlimited Dance, a great dance company that works with young dancers. It was a great class for our girls! My favorite part? The girls wrote letters to themselves, encouraging themselves to read when they are down. They all wrote pretty powerful stuff, I think Damoni’s line “Pick your head up high, you have a lot to be proud of” says it all. They’re such amazing girls.

A new year has begun!

We are so excited here at MiT, we’ve started our second year! We had our first class on Saturday with TWO classes, the 2015s and the new 2016s! So exciting. The girls met each other, the younger girls got to see Womble Carlyle for the first time, met the board members and teachers, and had their very first moveHER workout session! The older girls got to share their experiences in their first year of MiT and talk about everything they learned and how much they’re grown and met their mentors for the first time.

This is an especially exciting year for the girls, Dunbar High School has been rebuilt and is absolutely gorgeous. The students’ entire educational experience will be different in such beautiful surroundings. And on the first day of school all of the MiTs got gift bags with new t-shirts, pink planners, chocolate and more. Everyone is so excited for what the new year will bring, it’s going to be amazing!

Community Service Day!

As an end of the school year treat, we took a few of the girls from the class of 2015 and our brand new class of 2016 to a community service day! Our wonderful leadHER chair, Jazmyn, found out that the National Park Service was having a day to encourage more African Americans to visit national parks, so she signed us up for a community service project at the Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens. Kenilworth is pretty amazing, the gardens are beautiful and they’re right in Anacostia! Who knew?

Not only did the girls get to learn a little bit about planting grass and dealing with worms (you can guess how they felt about that one), they also got to meet Audrey Peterman, an amazing woman who travels the country and writes book to encourage more Blacks to visit National Parks. After lunch in the park we took the girls home and celebrated the end of our very first year!

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Photo Day!

On Saturday we had the amazing experience of taking the girls for a professional photo shoot. Thanks to the incredible skills of our incredible volunteers, board and advisory board members and the spirit and talent of our amazing girls, we had an incredible day and have a lot of gorgeous pictures to show for it.

HUGE shout outs go to:

  • Kalik at shutterdc.com for the amazing studio!
  • Makeup artist extraordinaire Sydne Kersey- @kingmeeee_
  • The most patient hair stylist ever Monisha Merriweather- Instagram: moecaramel
  • Planet Maud and Tari Boutique for the AMAZING clothes
  • Janice Wallace, our amazing advisory board member and Editor-in-Chief of Facon Magazine for styling the photos like a pro!
  • And the incredible amazing Lee Negroni, photographer to the stars (and MiTs)!

And now the gorgeous photos!

Priscilla and Keiseana with our amazing photographer, Lee.

The board and the girls!

Fashion & Yoga

Saturday’s class was hilarious. Board member Kiah Rhode taught the girls about personal style, what is and isn’t an MiT thing to wear in different situations (including why a sweatsuit may not be the best thing to wear on a first date, even if it does match). They heard from the fashion director of Neon V magazine, Kimee Brown, who was awesome and the girls loooved getting to hear from a bona fide fashionista. They also made lookbooks and learned a lot about their own personal style and what kind of options are out there besides their usual t-shirt and jeans/matching sweatsuit ensembles. The biggest lesson of the day? TIGHTS ARE NOT PANTS.

After class the girls had a yoga lesson by the very fun and very zen Tori Gordon, yoga instructor to the stars. Or, at least, she will be soon! The girls were surprised at how much they enjoyed it and at least two of them are future yogis in the making. All in all, a great class and a great end to a VERY busy September. Our next class isn’t for a few weeks and we can’t wait!

 

Stephanie and the girls had fun making their look books.

Kimee Brown held the girls’ attention with stories of fashion and style.

Janazjia explained why cheetah nail polish made her feel unique.

Amina Gilyard helped the girl find outfits to fit their personal styles.

The girls stretched and twisted in yoga.

Priscilla was in the yoga zone.

Don’t let this picture fool you, they didn’t hold the tree pose for long!

Relaxation.

Tori showed the girls my favorite pose: Warrior Woman.

Thanks so much to Kimee and Tori, we had a great time!

hireHER: Career Day!

Career Day is finally here and we are so excited! We’ve been looking forward to this for months and months and thanks to our amaaaazing hireHER chair, Angel McNeil (yes, that’s her name but she is one too!), LaToya Grant, a good friend and the person representing our sponsors at Tabaq, my new favorite place on U Street, the event was a success! Of course, I can’t forget the amazing professional women who came in to talk to our girls about how to achieve their dream jobs and completely inspired them, and of course our amazing girls!

Angel & LaToya came up with a fabulously creative format for Career Day- speed dating! The girls sat at tables with our professional women for about five minutes each and got to talk and ask questions before the buzzer went off and they switched. After they spoke to all of the women the girls filled out forms saying which woman they wanted to have brunch with and they were paired with them for our amazing meal provided by Tabaq.

After lunch, there was a little time for more talk and then the professional women left and our girls sat right down to write thank you notes! We believe strongly in stationery and stamps at MiT. =)

Everyone agreed that our girls are amazing and I am already completely obsessed with them. They’re smart, funny, ambitious and are so excited about spending the next three years changing their lives with MiT! I love them! Here are the pics so you can love them too.

Career speed dating!

Keiseana was eager to learn about becoming an engineer.

The delicious breakfast provided by Tabaq!

Our marvelous schoolHER Advisory Board member, Darla Bunting, came out to support!

At the end of the day, the girls were exhausted!


Angel and Latoya put on an amazing event for us!

The group!

Our first class!

On Saturday we had our first ever class and it was wonderful! It was so nice to finally hang out with the girls after talking about them for two years! The first class was a moveHER class and Nena had us working harder than we had in a long time! Between the nutrition lessons, sack races, bush ups and even watching the Olympics we all learned about getting and staying healthy and having fun while we do it.

Deja killed us all in the sack race but we comforted ourselves by remembering that she’s a track star.

moveHER chair Nena had more fun on the floor than hopping in the sack race.

Our volunteer coordinator, the new Mrs. Squires, got into post-honeymoon shape with a few sit ups. Want to volunteer with us? Sign up HERE!

Adorable Priscilla rocked the hula hoop and looked peaceful while she did it. She may have invented hula hoop yoga.

leadHER chair Jazmyn had a blast with the hula hoop.

When we weren’t sweating it up, Nena was teaching us how to read nutrition labels, about proper serving sizes and even giving the girls adorable water bottles for class workouts!

We had a blast in our first class and can’t wait to see the girls again. Up next? The girls start school soon and our teacher liaison, Ms. Evers and I are throwing them a pizza party and talking about the semester. Then our leadHER class is coming up where the girls will get to have a scavenger hunt and learn about leadership skills! So exciting that we’re finally getting started!

Wonderful Womble

I am constantly amazed at the generosity that I encounter when I am talking about MiT. People offer their time, wisdom and encouragement whenever I talk about our amazing girls. So, when I was looking for classroom space my amazing friend Womble Carlyle, my new favorite law firm. It was important to me that the girls would be surrounded by a beautiful space during our classes and Womble’s beautiful new office fits the bill perfectly. The bright colors, beautiful artwork, adorable dining room and amazing technology are exactly what I was looking for. I know the girls will feel inspired, fortunate and that they are special enough to deserve such beautiful surroundings. And, to top it off, Womble is sponsoring our lunches for every class! Amazing. Thank you Womble!

Michelle in Training Launches at TangySweet!

Friday the 13th was a lucky day at MiT, we had a fantastic launch at the Penn Quarter TangySweet! We hosted a froyo friendraiser to get the word out about our program, sign up new volunteers and, most importantly, eat lots of frozen yogurt. All three goals were successful and we had a blast doing it! New volunteers signed up, new people got excited about MiT and we had a full day of healthy-yet-delicious snacking. A lucky day indeed.

TangySweet is light and pretty and the perfect place for our launch!

showHER chair Kiah hanging out at the table

kat and Darla, our amazing Advisory Board member!

Timika, our new volunteer!

Founders at work! Hanging with Capital Cause founder and MiT supporter Kezia Williams.

Kiah and our amazing intern, Faith.

If you couldn’t make it to the friendraiser but still want to volunteer, no worries! Just click HERE! Next up, our very first class with the girls. We’re having a tech day to get them set up with all of the email/docs/etc. they’ll need to get them through the first semester. We’re so excited to finally spend the day with the girls!