Seeing a group of middle and high school aged girls talking in the Capital Memorial church’s (Washington, D.C.) potluck line, Jeanene Medley heard a small voice ask “Who is taking these girls under their wing?” It was in this moment that Medley felt called to develop a mentorship program, alongside other women, built on the pillars of faith, empowerment, love and sisterhood.
Daughters Arise soon came to fruition and now meets once a month. The mentors, young adult women who come from diverse backgrounds, answer questions and share life experiences with the younger girls as well as their personal hardships and how they have dealt with life’s tough choices—like school and career considerations. First and foremost, mentors ensure the gatherings focus on finding spiritual renewal, strength and reaching out to others outside of the group with words of encouragement, cards and gift bags.
The group is currently studying the book of Esther and recently took the opportunity to hold a Ms. Cultural Pageant for each woman to celebrate their culture and heritage. “We wanted to highlight that it’s ok to be proud of where you come from and who you are. In fact, one mentor stressed that we are never just one thing—we are powerful, beautiful, smart and God has a purpose for all of us.”
Currently, the group has about 10 mentors, ranging from early 20s to early 40s. and about 10 mentees. Both mentees and mentors appreciate the community growing among different generations. “We are building that bond and comradery together,” Medley continues “The program teaches inspires, motivates and encourages all who are involved. I hope more churches will consider programs like this!”
Medley says in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, that the group will be making the switch to virtual get-togethers. “Mentors will also be sending notes to mentees to let them know we are thinking of them and are still here for them,” she says.