Knox County nonprofit recruiting mentors for young girls

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The need to mentor young girls in Knox County is growing for a local nonprofit. Girl Talk, Inc. is in the midst of its “90 for 90” Mentor Recruitment Campaign. They want to recruit 90 new mentors to their program by March 31.

“You never know whose life you are changing or whose life you are saving by stepping into their life,” said Brittany Jenkins who has mentored for two years with the program.

The program looks to enrich the lives of young girls in the Knoxville area through three outreach systems: school-based, which partners with local schools to teach girls how to face some of life’s most common challenges; Girl Talk Life Prep Academy which prepares juniors and seniors in high school for college, career, and life; and community-based which partners girls with a mentor.

“She takes the time to sit and listen to my craziness. I can be open with her. I can tell her anything. I don’t often get close with people but it was natural,” says mentee Taniyah Donaldson.

She’s a senior in high school and has someone who cares about her success because of Girl Talk.

“She is awesome. I love Ms. Jenae. I love her so much,” said Donaldson of her mentor Jenae Peterson.

Not only have they participated in Girl Talk outings but they talk, one on one, a lot.

“Everything! Jobs, boys. Just what she’s planning to do with her life. Her goals and her dreams. Family, just everything,” says Peterson.

Peterson and Donaldson are just one of many thriving Girl Talk relationships. 

“There are times when I didn’t believe in myself but we would meet up and it just made me feel like I could do anything. I could do anything,” says Donaldson.

The need is growing for more mentors. Mentors who can fill the gap in young girls’ lives.

“I want her to achieve all of the dreams that she has. All of the ideas that she shared with me and there’s a lot, she has a wide range of interests and talent and I want her to know that she can do anything,” says Peterson.

The goal of the recruitment campaign is to raise awareness of the importance of mentoring. So far, 35 new mentors have been recruited but their goal is 90.

To learn more about becoming a mentor, please email Abby@girltalkinc.com or join us for Mingle with the Mentors on Thursday, February 21, 6:30-9 p.m. at The Change Center.

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