(GOE girl participants/mentees. Photo by Toya Russell-Phillips, Girls of Excellence, Inc.)
Girls of Excellence, Inc. is a non-profit organization that provides support and mentoring services for girls ages 8-18 and grades three to 12. It was formed by now executive director and CEO Toya Russell-Phillips. GOEâ€™s founding board members include Lena Sherman (vice president), Kathyrn Jones (second vice president), Leah Labitue (board secretary), Victoria Wiley, Lerae Funderburg (governance committee chair), Dr. Nicole Mitchell, Deloria Chubbs (finance committee chair), Tesha Winslow, Simone Johnson-George and Natasha Durkins.
GOEâ€™s board of directors is very active within the organization as they are not a governing board, but a working board. All are committed to GOEâ€™s mission and vision and bring their skills, experience, and expertise to furthering GOEâ€™s goals every day.
(Photo supplied by Toya Russell-Phillips, Girls of Excellence, Inc.)
Mrs. Russell-Phillips founded GOE solely to support girls on their journey to greatness. â€œI reflected on my own experience as a young girl and even today as a woman. Without the support of those that truly expressed genuine encouragement, guidance and advice combined with my determination to explore and reach my full potential I wouldnâ€™t be where I am today. Through that appreciation, the only way I could repay that debt of gratitude is to support girls like me.â€�
GOEâ€™s areas of focus are group mentoring, life skills, personal development and community service. GOE participants are exposed to cultural activities, educational and empowerment conferences, workshops and events, which are all made possible by GOEâ€™s dedicated mentors, the GOE board, schools and other community partners who help to support all of the young girls in GOE.
GOEâ€™s initiatives include GOE Money, Ready. Set. GOE!, GOE Tech, and GOE Getter. GOE Money focuses on teaching girls financial literacy. Ready. Set. GOE! focuses on college preparation, job training, resume writing, developing interview skills, and preparing for their individual career choices. GOE Tech exposes the girls to STEAM learning opportunities and activities. GOE Getter teaches the girls skills in entrepreneurship.
(Pictured above â€“ GOE Board members, mentors, and mentees. Photo by Toya Russell-Phillips, Girls of Excellence, Inc.)
GOEâ€™s work would not be possible without the help of its mentors. Since GOEâ€™s inception in July 2019, GOE has managed to engage 40 mentors and have a presence in over 25 schools in Georgia. Mentors engage in weekly or bi-weekly mentoring sessions throughout the school day at the schools the mentees attend. GOE mentors must undergo extensive training at the outset and throughout their term of mentorship. The GOE Board provides the mentors with all of the tools, advice, guidance and support in order to effectively mentor the girls it serves as a liaison between the girls, mentors, and community partners.
GOE is honoring and highlighting its mentors because of how important they are to the organization. And since GOE would not exist without its members, they are always actively looking for women who would like to serve. If you or anyone you know is interested in mentoring young girls and furthering the mission of GOE, please contact Toya Russell-Phillips at [email protected]. And if you would like to donate to the organization, you may do so here.