Our mentorship program FEMpower serves seven eighth grade girls at West Buffalo Charter School as they make the daunting, yet exciting transition from middle school to high school. Mentees meet with their mentor once a month at school — at least, that was the plan. FEMpower had three sessions before COVID-19 shut down schools worldwide.
For Every Little Handprint wanted to ensure that our mentees did not lose the valuable mentor-mentee relationship they had begun to build because of the pandemic. The girls need guidance and support now more than ever as our country and world faces and unprecedented public health crisis. Mentors wrote letters to their mentees and we are working on care packages to let each girl know we are thinking of them.
Emma Zimmer, a junior at Mount St. Mary Academy, wanted to be a part of this reminder for the mentees. Through her school’s Academy Scholars entrepreneurship program, Emma started a nonprofit project called “Sweet Peds,” which is dedicated to making care packages for children. Emma and For Every Little Handprint’s founder and executive director, Olivia Larson, connected to see how Emma could be involved in our care packages. Emma decided she wanted to make a personalized journal special for each girl.
“Journals are something you can always use,” she said, “whether it is for writing, drawing or both!”
Not only did Emma personalize the journals beautifully, she included a message inside for each girl featuring a quote. When we asked Emma about her decision to include these quotes, she said, “The quotes inside the journals are centered on moving on to the next chapter of the girls’ lives. It is a big step from middle school to high school and I wanted to give them inspirational quotes to assure them that they had everything inside them that they needed to succeed the next four years.”
Emma’s message is inspiring on her own. But it carries extra impact because Emma, as a high school student herself, understands where our mentees are headed. For Every Little Handprint is grateful to Emma for getting involved with our project, especially in these difficult times. To help support our COVID efforts, including the care packages, please consider donating or purchasing an item from our Amazon wishlist here.