Inspiring and Empowering Young Women By Beth Levine, TheAngelForever.com
Encourage young women to discover their dreams, to believe their future holds endless possibilities, and empower them to make it happen.”
hose are the words that make up the mission statement of the non-profit I Am I Can. This new organization starting in the Capital District is the brain child of Avon Scherff, the owner of Scherff Insurance Agency, Inc. The mother of a teenage son, Avon wants to join with other professional women in the community to mentor girls in grades 9-12. The organization will provide encouragement, guidance, and advocacy to young women as they focus on a goal after high school graduation. Avon Scherff talks about her organization with passion and vigor. She is excited to share her dream to help high school girls set, work toward, and reach goals. Scherff wants to help teen girls think ahead about life after high school. She wants them to graduate and then have something to do after. That may be the military, college, vocational school, starting their own business, or something else. Avon has spent the last few months working with people in the community to set up a board for I Am I Can. They have bylaws established, along with some community directors and advocates. Now Avon hopes that, with additional people taking on responsibility within the organization, they can all work toward the three core values of I Am I Can:
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The future belongs to those who dare to dream
Self-empowerment can bring monumental change
Every young woman has endless potential
It is because of this dedication to Saratoga and the greater Capital District community that Avon Scherff was selected as the May Parent of the Month.
Q&A WITH AVON SCHERFF Q: – Please explain what I Am I Can is and why you decided to create this non-profit organization in June. A: As a young girl from a struggling family, I have a passion to work with girls to instill in them that all things are possible – if they believe! My son is a junior in high school, so I see and hear about the struggles of teenage girls in our own community. I want to be able to provide a resource for girls who lack self-confidence and self-esteem, girls who feel like they are invisible and have no options.
6 KidsFunPlaza | Tech Valley, NY |June 2011
Q – Dream it. Believe it. Do it. Those are the powerful words that support the mission statement behind I Am I Can. How do you help encourage young women to follow this using your mission statement? A: I think any relationship takes time to build. Our advocates/mentors will work with these young women on a one-on-one basis to develop trust. They will spend time together in the hopes of “building them up” and instilling in them that there is a wonderful life ahead of them filled with opportunity. We want all young women to embrace a dream, believe in themselves, and become empowered to make it happen. Q – What is the most rewarding part of your non-profit work? A: I think what has amazed me thus far in building this organization are the stories that other professional women have shared with me about their lives. I don’t think my story or experiences are unique. There are many women that I know who have overcome huge adversity to achieve their dreams. Many of them have shared their struggles, their tragedies, their hardships. This only reinforces my belief that life is not a sequence of events; events in our lives shape who we become. Q – How has being a parent helped you with your role in the community? A: Because I have a son who is a junior in high school, I have had the opportunity to meet with the guidance counselors, school psychologist, school nurse, etc. to talk about the organization and the resources we can bring to the girls we serve. I also think being a parent
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