submitted by Kanyinsola O.

1) What's your group's background?

She Can Make A difference was started in the locker rooms of Columbus Alternative High School. My friend Noor and I were discussing the stigma and constant issues women and young girls have to face within our society due to their skin color and body size.We realized that this universal issue is still very prevalent within our society, manifesting in many different forms in school, home, and on social media. This inspired us to create She Can Make A Difference, an organization that combats these stigmas and helps to empower young girls and women. Currently, She Can Make A Difference goes to multiple fifth-grade classes every Wednesday to and creates a dialogue with the students about the importance of self-love, empowerment, and diversity. We work to foster a community of girls who support each other and believe in the power of their own voice. We also hold a workshop every summer for sexual assault, rape, and domestic violence.

2) Describe your Project!

We will use this grant money, in conjunction with resources given by other donors, to organize a one day retreat for female Columbus City students and their families. We will invite guest speakers, such as local politician Amy Harkins, to tell the girls their own stories of success and the obstacles they have overcome. We also will contact several different organizations, such as CAHS against sexual violence, to set of booths where they will teach girls about specific topics. We will recruit both adult and teen volunteers who work to welcome participants, teach at booths, and help to ensure the event run smoothly and is both inspiring and enjoyable to those attending. Before the event, we will contact the teachers and principals of schools we already have spoken at, and invite people to our event through social media, emails, and word of mouth. We will contact donors for contributions of resources and funding, so the event is completely free and open to all students.

3) What is your goal for this project?

We hope to use this grant to help fund a one day retreat where we will address a plethora of women’s issues – ranging from sexual abuse to a lack of representation. In order to do so, we will have a variety of booths present to educate the participants on a specific topic, whether that be body image or domestic violence. Additionally, there will be women from differing spheres, such as local female politicians and artists, to discuss their own experiences of women’s issues and how they are continuously achieving empowerment. To engage the younger participants we will also have recreational activities, such as face painting and photo booths, and we also hope to provide food and drinks.Through a retreat, we will even more effectively educate the young women who are our future leaders about what issues women and girls face, how to overcome these obstacles and create a community of support and inspiration among girls in Columbus.

4) How much money do you need and what will you use it for?

With the grant, we will be able to purchase refreshments for attendees so that they can fully enjoy the activities. With the money from the event, we would be able to provide for about 200 girls.  We will also use the money to provide T-shirts for each volunteer that is participating in the event, so participants are able to easily identify event crew, for any questions, comments, or concerns. This retreat will be completely free to girls and their families, so it is accessible to everyone and stays true to the She Can Make A Difference value of empowering all girls. The grant will allow us to fulfill this mission, by helping to fund any needs in areas where donations cannot be secured.