Sheri explains, “Studies show us that girls’ confidence plummets during puberty and never recovers. It is particularly difficult for girls of color, who are bombarded with negative messages on both race and gender. We get involved with the girls in middle school and stay with them through college. The girls relate to our mentors and begin to form a sisterhood. In middle school, we coach girls to lead themselves. In high school, we teach them how to lead others. And then we have She Works, where we match each young woman in a paid internship, and equip them to lead in the workforce. Building empathy is the key. We’ve seen that the direct involvement in our girls’ lives that we offer really makes a difference long-term.”
Currently, LiveGirl runs out of a small office on the back side of Walter Stewart’s Market, with 3 full-time employees, 20+ diverse part-time mentors, a large network of interns and volunteers, and an annual budget that is funded from about 30% corporate sponsorships/grants and most of the remainder from private donations. The organizational structure, reach, implementation and effectiveness are all outstanding. And, while Sheri’s MBA from Michigan State and all her professional experience are evident, it’s simply astonishing that Sheri’s been able to do what she’s done with LiveGirl – and raise all the money to do it.