CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) - A nonprofit called "Girls For A Change" is pleading to the community to help them purchase a van.
Girls For A Change was founded by Angela Patton, 15 years ago to provide minority girls and girls living in marginalized communities with a safe space where they can learn, discover and advocate for social change in their communities.
"The organization is to help black girls and other girls of color visualize their potential within," Patton said.
Patton even received a "Champion for Change" award by the Obama administration last year.
"My calling was being sick and tired of being sick and tired of the same old thing, you know," Patton said. "Lack of opportunities, the achievement gap, the lack of girls voices being heard."
For the last 15 years, Patton has helped hundreds of girls with her "Camp Diva" summer camp, yearly programs and "Girl Action teams" that, according to the website, "are made up of a dynamic team of middle and high school girls, who meet up in a safe place after school (four days a week), to create solutions about changing their communities, especially for black girls…Partners and Coaches will have the opportunity to interact with middle- and high-school girl members, who meet after school in safe spaces, four days a week with female coaches who teach the girls essential project planning and execution skills to aid them in designing and implementing their social change project."
Girls who are part of the non-profit have learned gardening and cooking; they receive homework support and specialized training in topics like STEM, experimental learning, fitness, entrepreneurship, leadership, and even coding.
Earlier this year, Patton decided she needed a central space to call her own, so in April, she purchased a former daycare in North Chesterfield.
"We thought a space of our own would allow us to reach girls on a deeper level," Patton said.
Once space was purchased, she realized there was another problem.
"It's the transportation conversation that we continue to have in this city," Patton said.
Many of the girls Patton helps live in marginalized communities and don't have the ability to get to and from the non-profits location, specifically after school, so Patton is now raising money to buy a van.
"We would know we have a dependable, reliable source and that we've dismantled a barrier," Patton said.
Click here to donate.
Click here to find out more information on Girls For A Change.
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