Embrace Girl Power - WSVN-TV - 7NEWS Miami Ft. Lauderdale News, Weather, Deco

Embrace Girl Power

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WSVN -- Hear ye, Hear ye, young ladies prepare the crumpets it's time for a tea party.

These elementary school girls are showing off the social skills they learned in Embrace Girl Power, a non-profit organization founded by mom Velma Lawrence.

Velma Lawrence: "What started out as a mentoring program for elementary age girls, has turned into an after school academy actually."

Velma grew up in the inner city. She knows young girls need strong role models to succeed, so she created this program to give them a solid head-start.

Velma Lawrence: "To be involved in a social organization that promotes not just academics but social and character educational skills."

At tea parties girls learn how to be young ladies. They dress up, sip tea and eat at a special restaurant.

Ja'Caiya Stephens: "I learned sitting at a restaurant you always cross your feet and put your hands in your lap."

Embrace also focuses heavily on academics with after school programs like this one at Parkview Elementary.

Kiandra Simmons: "My name is Kiandra Simmons, I'm a police officer for the City of Miami Police Department."

Special guests come to talk about important issues like bullying and peer pressure.

Velma says this type of dialogue prepares the girls for the challenges of middle school and beyond.

Velma Lawrence: "So they know how to separate themselves from girls not making positive choices."

Sydney has been in the program for 10 years. She's a mentor now and says the most important lesson she's learned is to be herself.

Sydney Mortimer: "You can't fit in, trying to be like girls in magazines. It's not about that, it's about loving yourself for who you are and what's inside of you."

Theresa has two daughters in the program and has really seen them grow. No longer afraid to speak up or to sing in front of an audience. She says thanks to Embrace Girl Power they have the skills they need to be strong women!

Theresa Ferguson-Miles: "So when they leave our sight, when they move on, they have those tools to better themselves."

Lynn Martinez: "The girls have also traveled to places like New York and Los Angeles, and have had meet and greets with Whoopi Goldberg and Hillary Clinton."

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

http://www.embracegirlpower.org/

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