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“Impact Girls” transforming the lives of young ladies at Dillard Elementary School

Impact Girls” transforming the lives of young ladies at Dillard Elementary School

By Jimmie Davis, Jr.

      Young ladies attending Dillard Elementary School now have the opportunity to change the counterproductive persona that contemporary society has left on their minds through a forward-looking/thinking program entitled “Impact Girls”.

     Furthermore, mainstream media is the culprit that leaves behind a deep-rooted unenthusiastic impression in Black America by advocating un-healthy diets, immoral behavior, vulgar language and inappropriate attire. 

     Impact Girls aspires to remove these negative concepts through educational programs that teach self esteem, healthy nutrition, how to resist negative media and gender stereotypes, etiquette, and how to talk, dress and act like a lady.

     “Our vision is to bring early intervention prevention to empower these young ladies so they can strive for academic excellence,” said Angela Dix, director of Impact Girls during their first Annual Charity Gala & Awards Dinner that was held at the Renaissance Hotel in Plantation. “We instruct them on how to make good lifestyle choices and resist negative media and gender stereotypes.”

     The theme of Impact Girls utilizes the illustration of a butterfly, which symbolizes transformation, and as 32 of the first and second grade gorgeous young ladies in the program entered the dining hall they waved their arms as if they were truly butterflies that eagerly await a metamorphosis in their lives.

     Dix knows firsthand about the dilemma these young ladies are confronted with because she sees them every day as she teaches ESE at Dillard Elementary.

     Impact Girls also incorporates science, math, technology, and money management so they can realize their full potential and pursue their ambitions.

     “There’s no program like this at any other school,” Angela Brown, Principal at Dillard Elementary said. “The program is wonderful. Being a Black woman that came from a family of challenges the program reminds me of women who had an impact on my life. I’m very proud of these girls.”

     As with any minority pro-gram, funding is very limited. Impact Girls is asking the community at-large for provisions such as supplies, equipment, and finances for field trips.

     Here’s where Lindell G. Douglas, President of Fortis 83 Foundation plays a very intricate part and stepped up to the plate by providing financial assistance to Impact Girls.

     He says that as a kid growing up in the Caribbean he often wouldn’t have lunch and his friends would share their food with him and that’s the basis of his generosity.

     “As I reflect on my childhood I asked myself how I could give back to society,” said Douglas. “I’m determined to help needy kids.”

     Because of his philanthropy scholarships will be awarded to two Impact Girls at Dillard Elementary.

     During her keynote address the very lovely Dr. Cassann Blake, M.D., Director of the Breast Program at Cleveland Clinic Florida, said her parents were going to buy her a car, but she told them to pay for her physics class instead, because becoming a doctor was more significant to her than an automobile.

     Growing up in Brooklyn, Blake says that she always had ambitions of academic success and it started while she began to read different books.

     “I told my father to take me to the publishing company in Manhattan,” Blake said. “We purchased the teacher’s edition of the textbooks, because I wanted to teach myself.”

     She says that sometimes in life sacrifices will have to be made and suggested to the young ladies to always tell their parents of their goals and desires.

     Zahara Lindsey, 8, is in the second grade and has been participating in the program for the last year says she likes Impact Girls because it has helped her to become a better person and student.

     “I’ve become a better student,” said Lindsey. “It has also taught me how to act as a lady and to have manners.”

     Kishan Edwards [Zahara’s mother] wishes the program would continue through high school.

     “My daughter has become more confident in what she can achieve,” Edwards said. “I love what accomplishments the girls are making at Dillard Elementary School.”


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