No one can argue against the need for meaningful programming geared toward positively impacting youth. The number of youth programs and initiatives that sprout up on an annual basis makes it difficult for each organization to stand out, but the women of 365 Girls Rock Foundation are quickly making headway with their persistent marketing efforts and quality programming.
365 Girls Rock Foundation is an organization spun from the book 365 Girl: Daily Affirmation’s. 365’s mission is to empower young ladies 365 days a year. Ultimately 365 looks to redirect adolescent behavior so that the sacredness of femininity and the moral compass of womanhood can be recaptured for our children, and our children’s children. The founder, Tracey Sydnor has teamed up with some very talented and dedicated women to ensure the sustainability of 365. The leadership team of 365 as pictured below is Tia Hawkins, Tracey Hawkins-Sydnor, and Michele Taylor.
Tracey has been working with youth for years but decided to go to the next level with 365 after observing many negative trends regarding young girls disregard for social media etiquette, carless attitude toward respect, and lack of desire to be great. 365 Girl serves as a motivational read for young girls that include affirmations and other inspirational words created to provide guidance for youth. Each chapter has a different theme such as social motivation, physical fitness, educational attainment, and sexual awareness as well as a chapter on how to deal with pain. Tracey’s background in the military provides her with the unique experience and exposure to model resilience, adaptation, and strength in spite of challenges.
The leadership of 365 has been conducting workshops across the nation based on the tenets of the book. 365 has expanded to include 365 Girl World (weekly radio show), 365 Girl Prayer Conference (prayer call twice a month), a city-wide pajama conference (12 hour action packed night of fun, empowerment, and motivation), an upcoming dress drive, and more. The weekly radio show hosts are Tia Hawkins (College Girl) Michele Taylor (The advocate) Shayla Courtney (The Heiress) and Tracey Sydnor (Ultimate 365 Girl).
The organization is in need of volunteers in the areas of photography, computer expertise, sound engineering, cosmetology, and teaching. Volunteers can assist with upcoming workshops across the nation as well as helping with hands-on tasks including collecting and wrapping dresses for girls ages 10-18. Next year the pajama girl conference will be expanding to 4 cities including Grand Rapids, MI, Washington, DC, Los Angeles, CA and Chicago, IL- which will be a great opportunity for girls and volunteers everywhere to become involved.
Girls become involved in 365 on a first come first serve basis. Any girl who wants to take part in a 365 event can pre-register on Facebook, twitter, email, or any other outlet they can imagine. At times people are hesitant and curious about 365’s free opportunities but Tracey states that once parents and guardians visit their social media sites or get to know the leadership, they are more inclined to sign-up their young girls. Present and greeting parents during check-in and check-out, Tracey and Michele help to increase parents trust and willingness to enroll their most prized possession in 365 events. Mt. Carmel M.B. Church family has also shown a lot of support to 365 by providing male volunteers as security for events that require such. Off duty police officers from the Chicago Police Department (CPD) also volunteer!
365 reaches out to community’s that lack resources and local opportunities. During the first year, Michele and Tracey completed door to door marketing in CHA’s Dearborn Holmes Housing as well as schools in the same neighborhood. Fliers are also shared with local churches, restaurants, and salons, where parents of adolescents would frequent. 365 networks effectively through social media, college alumni networks, and church affiliations. As a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Tracey has been able to garner support from Greek lettered organizations as well. Other organizations that 365 supports and receives support from include Joshua Mercer and Swish Dreams Educational & Sports Foundation for “Swish Girls”, Barbara Ellzey and R.E.A.C.H., Jennifer Reid and SHERO, Phoenix Owens and S.I.S.T.E.R.S. Inc., and Christine Hansberry/Pamela Linton with S.M.I.L.E (King College Preparatory HS) just to name a few.
Through strategic partnerships and alliances with public and charter schools, 365 will expand on their academic focus. Collaborations with the Chicago Defender Newspaper and other local businesses between Chicago, Washington D.C. and Los Angeles has increased the visibility of 365 tremendously.
I am excited about the progress and future of 365 Girls Rock Foundation. From the sidelines, I have been able to witness the commitment and enthusiasm of the 365 leadership team. I am impressed and support their organization 365 days a year. To learn more about 365, check out the links below.