More than 150 Women Have Signed Up to Mentor Girls in Chicago Away from Sex, Diseases, Pregnancy and Hopelessness
The Black Angel Network, Afrika Enterprises, 100 Concerned Women in Action, the Black Star Community PTA and The Black Star Project lead the way.
Robeson Pregnancy Rate Prompts Mentoring Effort
Chicago (CBS), October 26, 2009 - Sometimes a story serves as a call to action.
After CBS 2 reported 115 girls out of 800 at Robeson High School in Englewood were pregnant or already had babies, women in the community decided to do something. They say they're responding to a crisis situation, and they think their knowledge will be power. So they're taking their wisdom into schools to walk with young girls on the path to adulthood.
They want to show them there's a world of possibilities for them beyond young motherhood.
One of the schools that's welcoming them is Benjamin E. Mays Academy.
Its principal, Patricia McCann, saw the story about Robeson's situation.
"It made me a little sad," she said.
She commends Robeson's principal for working with the girls. But because it's so hard, she says preventive measures are also important.
"Let's try not to let 'em get in that position," McCann said.
Phillip Jackson, executive director of the Black Star Project, is working to get them the info they need. His project sent our story to thousands of women, with a call for mentors.
It turns out, women are answering that call. Many of them filled a room tonight.
More than 123 women have volunteered with The Black Star Project, The Black Angel Network, Afrika Enterprises, 100 Concerend Women in Action and the Black Star Community PTA to mentor young girls.
"We have a crisis in our community," Sherrie Phillips said. "We must stand up and go out there and do something about it."
They want to show young ladies the way. Their work will target grade school girls. Their mission: To send prevention messages.
"I'll tell 'em you have to be yourself," volunteer Jinnie Rogers said. "You don't have to do anything you don't want to do. Use protection if you're not going to use abstinence."
They say getting the word out early is better because by high school, sometimes it's too late.
Principal McCann has seen that in the neighborhood.
"They have a backpack and a baby, and they're trying to do all that," she said.
She says it is a tough road they don't have to take. It's why she's welcoming the mentors to her own Benjamin Mays Academy, a Robeson feeder school.
The Black Star Project hopes to have enough mentors to expand beyond Robeson and the South Side. It's calling on men to get involved, too.
If you'd like to help, call the Black Star Project at 773-285-9600.
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Women who want to join this effort should call 773.285.9600.