“A longtime friend of mine who teaches middle school in Frayser noticed that her students didn’t really go anywhere, so she started a mentoring program. She's gotten me involved with this group of girls as well. As adults, we may drive from Germantown or Collierville to downtown Memphis every day and think nothing of it, but that's not part of these girls' experience. When we took them to Germantown earlier this year, they said things like, ‘Wow - I didn’t know this existed. I didn’t know people lived like this. I didn’t know where the Wolfchase Mall was. I've always wanted to see Saddle Creek.’ They’re seeing communities that have outdoor shopping malls where you can go from store to store and shop safely, and they’re amazed because they don’t have that in Frayser. We try to expose the girls to ballet, the arts, plays, and restaurants---things that they might not have the opportunity to experience otherwise. We look for free things to do, but we’ve also begun to ask friends and groups to sponsor the girls: maybe pay for an activity or for lunch for an individual student. We want these girls to know that there are professional women out here who can assist them and be a resource for them. The children in our community need us to step up and show them that there's a big world out there.”
Latasha Brown and Tabitha Branch (the teacher in this story) mentor students at Grandview Heights Middle School. Latasha is also a Senior Creative Partner with Initials, Inc.