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STATE OF DIVERSITY in College & Beyond CHRISTIE GARTON - Founder of the 1,000 Dreams Fund: Q: Please explain your connection to the 1,000 Dreams Fund. A: I founded the 1,000 Dreams Fund in 2015 after hearing from so many young women we've worked with over the years on UChic (a best-selling guidebook to college for and by girls) how difficult it is to find funding for those extracur- Christie Garton/Founder ricular experiences and activities that take money to access in school. We wanted to help level playing field so more young women can access these opportunities so they, too, can reach their dreams. "1,000" is our first goal to fund 1,000 real girls through our efforts, and we've already started working towards it, and once we reach it, we'll announce our next big goal. Q: How is the issue of diversity relevant to you and to the Fund? A: We know that funding is critical to our girls when it comes to helping them reach their career goals and dreams. But advice is important too. We want to bring to light ALL of the challenges young women are facing today, like the state of diversity and inclusion on campus, so that together, through through this dialogue, we can work towards solutions.

FARRAH KRENEK - Spokesperson: 1,000 Dreams Fund Q: Please explain your connection to the 1,000 Dreams Fund. A: I was approached by the founder of this project, Christie Garton a few months ago and she shared with me her vision. I was very taken by her idea as I've always been very supportive of all women continuing their education and pursing their dream. She not only wanted me to know about the plan she had to help fund continuing education for girls, but she wanted me to be her official ambassador for this project. She said that the girls would have assistance in funding, but they also needed to have a positive influence and example of someone that had gone through hardships and managed to overcome it all and still become the person they wanted to be. She wanted me to represent them, give motivational speaking and share my story. It's been a privilege, a genuine privilege. Q: How is the issue of diversity relevant to you and to the Fund? A: I've spoken to and met with so many young women applying to the program and every story is different. Each girl does share one thing in common, the desire to succeed, the desire to become something great.... But every girl has her own story. This motivates me even more to meet with them all, because God knows he broke the mold when he made me. I'm not your girl next door type of woman and for many years this was something that caused me much suffering... suffering because it wasn't ok to be different. I embrace diversity because I am a part of that.

Q: What are some of the most important findings of the diversity survey, in your opinion? A: Personally, the statistic that 71% feel their gender has hindered them from achieving their professional and/or career goals is particularly eye-opening as millennial Q: What are some of the most important findings of women (our target survey respondents) are the most the diversity survey, in your opinion? educated generation of women. We have to ask "Why? " do A: The more and more I listen to people and read about they feel this way. What can we do to help women people, I've found one thing to always be certain...As overcome those age-old barriers to their advancement? much as people would like to see a Q: Can you provide a personal change, they are equally afraid of experience you've encountered that's change. It's very easy to be unhappy relevant to the survey? in your comfort zone, but never A: I don't want to name names or point want to leave it for fear of what fingers, but I have personally faced MIGHT happen. I think this is why sexism in the workplace. It is why I'm representing these girls has not only personally committed to the mission become a privilege, but my mission. driving the 1,000 Dreams Fund and my I view these girls and this goal of creating a comany that empowers generation as my legacy. I want to Farraah Krenek/Orange is the New Black young women. leave them with my courage and faith that there is Q: What do you hope people will take away from these nothing that they can't overcome. Feel free to call it findings; what changes do you want to see made? inspirational boot camp. The gift I give to them is me. A: At the very least we hope to start a conversation. We want Q: Can you provide a personal experience more young women to be heard, their ideas and solutions you've encountered that's relevant to the survey? heard and then, hopefully, action by organizations and A: People are inspired and have the desire to go on institutions that makes a real and lasting impact on the lives when they have something to look forward to. Some of young women. people find it in travel, others find it in meeting new people... To me, my highest form of motivation is Q: Is there anything else you'd like readers to know? when someone comes up to me and says "your words A: We are taking our "State of the Girl" series driving this helped me... I understood what your message was..." survey and others on the road to campuses across the or, if a parent reaches out to me and says their child is country. If anyone is interested in hosting a State of the Girl doing better and feels that there is hope..." That to me Meetup at their school, please contact us at: is the greatest reward. If I can help at least one staff@1000dreamsfund.org. ....Continued on Page 14

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Caribbean american passport news magazine january 2016  

Haiti Independence, Martin Luther King Jr 2016, Legends of Morgan State University Football. 9 Mile Concert, the Sons of Bob Marley, Michael...

Caribbean american passport news magazine january 2016  

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