Girl power has a new name in Texas — and it’s sounding off with some Texas-sized swag!
“Pretty Smart Girls.”
That’s the moniker for a growing teen girls’ mentoring organization that is based in the Dallas Fort Worth Metroplex.
Two moms—an NFL wife and a TV news reporter— started the group one year ago when they decided to do something proactive about problems associated with girls who suffer from low self-esteem and peer pressure.
Mioshi Johnson, wife of former Baltimore Ravens cornerback, Chris Johnson, explains, “Our mission is simple…We want to teach girls to believe in themselves and reach for the stars, while at the same time encouraging them to give back to their community.”
Dionne Anglin, a veteran journalist, says, “The message is— strength, confidence and beauty all come from within. We are all unique with different gifts. Every girl deserves to know that she is perfectly created and capable of greatness despite what’s reflected by mainstream society.”
Rolling out sat down recently with the founders to chat it up about PSG. Check out what they had to say below:
Who is eligible to become a Pretty Smart Girl?
Mioshi: The criteria for becoming a Pretty Smart Girl is to be between 13 – 18 years old, commit to the PSG pledge to uphold certain values and behaviors and perform a designated number of community service hours.
How has the group grown since it started?
Dionne: We basically started with four girls and two of them were our own daughters. The concept and the need, however, are so relatable that we have more than tripled that number of committed PSGs … and parents are reaching out to us everyday through social media and otherwise because they are interested.
Tell us more about the PSG activities.
Mioshi: We’ve taken the girls to various community and charity events to volunteer. We have regular meetings with guest speakers. The girls talk openly with each other and our volunteer PSG mentors about school, family and social issues. Some of our upcoming subjects range from proper etiquette to healthy relationships.
How is Pretty Smart Girls funded? Is it your goal to become a non-profit organization?
Dionne: Our first year was such a blessing – Everything was funded by private donors who simply believe in what we’re doing. Our goal is to become a non-profit, but in the meantime, a charitable organization has taken us under its wing and sponsors PSG so donations made to our group are tax-deductible.
Are there indicators that PSG is empowering girls?
Mioshi: Quite a few actually. We hear it from our parents and the girls themselves. Some who initially didn’t say much at all will now get up and speak in front of the group. Also, as we encourage them to, the girls are mentoring each other. But I think most of all… we’re really touched when some of the girls come up to Dionne and I and say, thank you for starting this group. That’s proof we’re doing something right.
PSG meet the third Saturday of every month. For more information on Pretty Smart Girls go to http://prettysmartgirls.org/ or follow them on twitter @prettysmartgir1 or like them on FB at Pretty Smart Girls
Check out photos of the girls and some of their activities in the gallery below.