New Blytheville program aims to empower girls

BLYTHEVILLE, AR (KAIT) - "Inspire and empower girls to be strong, smart, and bold."

That's the mission of a new organization in Blytheville called, Daddy's Diamonds.

The organization launched Saturday and aims to mentor Region 8 girls ages ten to 18.

"We want to be a voice for these girls, we want to mentor them. We want to support them. We want to see them have life-changing experiences," director Rhonda Hodges said.

Daddy's Diamonds will offer programs focusing on self esteem, respect, anti-bullying, teens and drugs, future careers and more.

"Getting involved in their lives, making sure that we encourage them to do what they need to do in school, in life, at home, every where," mentor Katrina Evans said.

"See these girls' pain. One-on-one, we deal with them, they share their stories. We know we have a need in this area for girls to do more," Hodges said.

These women were inspired to help because they have been in this position themselves.

"Some have been teenage moms, but they're doctors today, they're hairdressers today. I'm a nurse today. I wasn't a teenage mom, but I come from a single-parent home," Hodges said. "You look at someone and you think, 'Oh, I see a pretty face, but they don't realize how much that person may have gone through to get where they are."

To get through hard times, Hodges said many of these women were part of mentoring programs.

"I had a lot of people to encourage me as I was coming up in school, teachers, coaches, different, older ladies," Evans said.

"We all are here for a purpose. We're called to do something. Why not give back to young girls? When someone planted a seed in you, I mean, it's just awesome to be able to do that," Hodges said.

"I can tell younger girls what I learned. I can actually give back to them and teach them," Evans said.

"We know God's gonna bless this organization because we're a sisterhood," Hodges said.

Hodges said that's where the name Daddy's Diamonds comes from.

"We know that He empowers us. We are extraordinary, we are priceless, we are valuable to Him. We want these girls who go through our mentorship program to feel the same way. We envision a world where girls feel like they can conquer the world because they can. And we want them to know that," Hodges said.

Daddy's Diamonds started in conjunction with another Blytheville organization, Healing in the Hood, a mentor program for local boys.

Many of the women who started Daddy's Diamonds work for this program, too.

Daddy's Diamonds is hosting its next event, a pageant, Nov. 30 at Blytheville Middle School at 3 p.m. The theme of the pageant is, "Unlocking the Beauty Within."

Their weekly meetings will start Dec. 2 at 5 p.m. at the Healing in the Hood building, 121 S. 2nd St. in Blytheville.

Hodges said these meetings will continue every Monday.

For more information on Daddy's Diamonds, visit Healing in the Hood's website.

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