SPARC provides its services primarily to single parents and their families. However, SPARC noted a specific need in the Bradford Gwinnett Apartment Complex where SPARC is housed: many young girls of single mothers are in need of mentoring.
Thus began SPARC’s program called Dream Girls, an afterschool leadership development and mentoring program for young girls. One of SPARC’s key learnings is that girls with no vision for their future have no direction for their present, and no compelling reason to protect it. In the program, girls create a concrete plan for their future and learn to understand that the choices they make today will affect the choices they will be ABLE to make tomorrow. By helping them to develop a plan, they then work it backwards to present day, step-by-step, until they have created a clear path to successfully reach their goal. With a clear direction, they are less likely to engage in the negative behaviors that would derail their success.
SPARC is determined that Dream Girls WILL graduate from High School. It is committed to ensuring that they WILL identify a future career, chart a path to get there, and with the support of the Dream Girls program, achieve their goals.
Dream Girls start with the creation of a Vision Board, identifying the hopes and dreams they have for their future. They then create a resume that highlights the skills and experiences they already possess, while identifying the areas in which they need to grow. Their resumes also list their future career goals. Based on their goals, Dream Girls are then matched with successful women already in those specified careers in order to provide job shadowing as well as mentoring opportunities.
Dream Girls study financial literacy so they will successfully learn how to manage their money and grow their future wealth. Dream Girls focus on improving their academics so they will be eligible for college scholarships. Dream Girls also focus on extracurricular activities and community service to ensure they are well rounded as well as recognize and appreciate their skills and talents so they understand their worth.
The Dream Girls program model brings a balanced approach to ensure that the community is engaged. In turn, the Dream Girls recognize that they are, and remain, a viable, valuable asset to the community.