Chicago organization mentors young girls to be leaders

Chicago Proud
CHICAGO (WLS) -- A Chicago mentoring program is teaching girls to be better communicators and leaders.

Next week, people around the world will mark the International Day of the Girl. It's a global movement started by the United Nations to help make our communities a more equal place for young women.

One local organization is doing that by polishing one pebble at a time. It's simple enough: start a conversation with a smile, hello and an introduction.

The Shine Method is just one of the ways the Polished Pebbles mentoring program is helping young ladies become better communicators.

"What we want to see in polished pebbles is not just girls who want to join the future workplace. We want to see our polished pebbles to go in and shape the future workplace," said Kelly Fair, executive director of Polished Pebbles Girls Mentoring Program.

And they're doing that by showing girls how to build better relationships and by exposing them to new opportunities.

"We usually run during the school year and toward the end of the school session. After 15 weeks of Polished Pebbles, the culminating event is to go to one of our partnering businesses and do a job shadow," Fair said.

Not only are the girls learning life-changing communication skills, they also have a better understanding how to resolve conflicts.

"They teach you how to deal with criticism so when people talk about you, you don't care," said Kaliyah Young, 11.

"I talk to more people than I used to do because I was very quiet," said Connie Sain, 13.

"It kind of lets me go home and realize what I should be doing with my life and all the different things I could be learning," said Tania Lindsey, 12.

"It's a life-changing experience for them to go through this program," said Deborah Famer, mentor at Polished Pebbles. "We have to find a way to give back to more young women and they want it the moment you see them in groups and stop and talk to them you see the sparkle in their eyes and they're just excited that you've paid attention."

On Saturday in Bronzeville, Polished Pebbles is hosting what it's calling "Chicago Girls Takeover." It's a fundraising event, but also they're hoping to recruit new mentors.

They'll be honoring women and men who have helped girls in our communities become leaders and future change makers. Tickets are still available.

Polished Pebbles started in Chicago, but has expanded to Indiana, Texas and there's a college chapter at Duke University.

Polished Pebbles "Chicago Girls Takeover"

Saturday, October 7
Renaissance Bronzeville,
4641 South King Drive, Chicago
Tickets: $75 general admission. $125 VIP Reception.
Click HERE to purchase tickets.
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