Having mentors throughout your life can be extremely beneficial no matter who you are, what you’re doing or where your life is headed. Having someone to confide in, look up to and ultimately receive guidance from is very special. Gyrl Wonder in New York City have made it their purpose to provide mentors for girls and young women ages 16 to 21.
The Gyrl Wonder program, founded by their Executive Director Tola Lawal, "provides and cultivates resources while teaching the girls how to leverage those tools" to reach their personal goals as well as their professional ones, according to the Gyrl Wonder Mission.
The program works on five essential pillars which include self-care, self-image, empowerment, development and service. These topics help the girls begin their journey from within and continue to help the community around them. With help from the mentors at Gyrl Wonder, the girls learn how to take care of their spiritual and physical selves, as well as think positively about themselves — which many of us know is very difficult during those teenage years.
The program also helps the girls learn to support other girls around them, make their personal and professional dreams into reality and continue to pass on the wealth of love and knowledge to other girls to help make a strong impact on the community.
According to the Gyrl Wonder website, the Gyrl Wonder Mentorship program participants and their mentors have sessions each week, and this is supplemented with an annual conference and occasional field trips. They note that their other program Gyrl Talk is open to all, explaining that "Gyrl Talk is a multi-platform dialogue experience" with discussions facilitated by Gyrl Wonder.
While Gyrl Wonder does have an amazing team, they also rely on the help of the community to continue helping the "gyrls" achieve their dreams. The program accepts mentors for their weekly mentorship program, volunteers and donations to keep their movement going strong.
The program is also getting ready to host their Summer Leadership Academy which provides up to 15 gyrls with the opportunity to connect with powerhouse female execs from companies such as Atlantic Records, Teen Vogue and ESPN. It's needless to say that the footprint Tola Lawal has created will leave a significant mark on this planet.
Keep scrolling to check out some incredibly touching footage from their first Mentoring Matters event! It took place earlier this year and featured amazing speakers such as Briana Owens from Spiked Spin and America’s Next Top Model winner, Bre Scullark:
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