Rolling Out

How Save a Girl, Save a World is helping young Black women share their truth

Syndie Collins
Sydnie Collins (Photo courtesy of Lindria Dockett Photography)

Save a Girl, Save a World is a multigenerational mentoring and self-esteem building program that assists young girls and women with support through mentorship, while also helping them gain focus and address real-life situations. The founder of SAGSAW, Glenda Gill; communication intern of SAGSAW, Sydnie Collins; and Bennett College student Coriana Chavis talked with rolling out about the program.

What is the origin story of Save a Girl, Save a World?

Glenda Gill: Eleven years ago, we started this organization. How we got started was a seed was planted in our minds and on our hearts by Dr. Julianne Malveaux saying, “If we want to save the world, we have to save our girls.” Of course, when women get together, we are always very creative. We want to always do something that makes a difference. While we were sitting at this table and Dr. Malveaux made that statement, one of the other ladies sitting at the table who was with Ford Motor Company, Pam Alexander, said if you can get it started, I’ll give you the seed money. So 11 years later, here we are.

We designed [the] program to be a multigenerational mentoring program that is built around four foundational pillars of health and wellness, lifestyles and leadership, financial literacy, and both legacy and career and entrepreneurship.

Coriana Chavis
Coriana Chavis (Photo courtesy of Coriana Chavis)

Why is it important for women not to be muted, silenced, and to share their truth at this moment?

Sydnie Collins: I really think that speaking up and having a voice for yourself is crucial, especially in today’s age when everything kind of gets set behind because someone else has a more overpowering voice. I think when it comes to young women, especially African Americans, we need to find it in ourselves to uplift one another with what we say to each other. I think that speaking up and speaking out about things that we feel are important is one of the biggest steps we can take to get in that kind of direction.

Coriana Chavis: I feel like speaking up is important because sometimes as Black women, they try and shatter our voices. I go to an all-women institution, so being around women is quite the norm for me. I do pageants and I’ve always stood on the platform, “beautiful, young, and everlasting.” My platform has always been about uplifting young Black women.

What other subjects are you sharing that young women need to be aware of?

GG: One of the structures of SAGSAW is multigenerational mentoring. We are able to put our arms around the young women as mentors and as leaders, and we try to ensure that they are equipped with a healthy self-image. We work to instill self-confidence and life skills and new experiences. We work very hard to promote academic excellence, and the accomplished mentors come from several different disciplines. We try to work with young women from every facet of their lives. We actually call ourselves a GPS system for the next stage of adulting.

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