KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – This weekend, mentors, mentees and local businesswomen will be strutting their stuff on the runway to raise money for Girl Talk, Inc. Girl Talk empowers girls to become their best selves by reducing the likelihood of teen pregnancy and helping them to advance educationally. The bond that comes with mentoring is changing lives.
They say you can’t choose your family, but for one set of teens in the program, that’s just not true.
“She’s like a really big sister to me. Upfront all the time. She’s honest about everything. She’s like how I want my big sisters to be for me. Like open, honest.. real about everything,” says Ariel Dublin about her mentor ReJean Rouse.
Rousen mentors a whopping four young ladies through Girl Talk, Inc.
MORE INFO: Girl Talk Inc. website
“So far it’s having sleepovers at her place. We always stay up until five in the morning talking about everything,” says Dublin.”
Usually volunteers take on one or two teens, but with a big heart, Rouse has nurtured her club of four little sisters while she was in college.
“I made a promise to them that I was not going to leave until they graduated. So, I graduated first and usually people graduate and they move and start life or whatever. Even though Knoxville is not in my heart, I’m going to stay for my girls because they are my heart,” says Rouse.
And this isn’t new for her, she has dedicated her life to helping others.
“I used to work at a domestic violence shelter. I’ve also worked with homeless families. I am real big on working with families. It’s kind of how I got into Girl Talk.”
Rouse’s mentees have benefited from her real world experiences. She’s been getting them ready for what’s next in life.
“How to be an adult for once,” laughs Derraie Patterson, “because it’s like before I went to Girl Talk, I was shy, I didn’t want to go and ask for stuff. I didn’t want to ask for help but after Girl Talk I started being more involved with volunteer work and stuff like that.”
“She’s there for me through hard times. She would just be there to talk to me about anything,” says Dublin.”
When the group isn’t engaged in teachable moments, they are growing their bond that will last a life time.
The Girl Talk Fashion Show Gala will be this Saturday, Aug. 10 at the Knoxville Convention Center.. There will be a cocktail hour, dinner, live entertainment, and an upscale fashion show!
WATE 6 On Your Side is a proud sponsor of the event. Good Morning Tennessee anchor Tearsa Smith will co-host it along with season 12 winner of The Voice, Chris Blue.