Multiplying Good: Ella Watkins
“I just see how the girls try to measure on with the boys and I said ‘y’all are young ladies, y’all can’t do that!’ So, I said to myself, ‘I’m going to start a program to mentor y’all,” said Watkins.
That program is called “S.W.A.G;” Sisters With Aspiring Goals. It’s a faith based-non denominational youth development and leadership program for girls ages 5 through 18.
“I want them to accomplish a lot of things in life. If they don’t have it at home or the willpower, I brought that to them,” said Watkins.
One of the girls Watkins is mentoring is 15-year-old Madison.
“She serves as a great role-model to me and the other girls,” said Madison.
Madison has been in the SWAG program for two years along with nearly 75 other girls. They even have a waiting list!
The girls meet twice a month at the NAACP in downtown Jackson. They do work shops involving topics like self-esteem, money, college career goals and more challenging topics like human trafficking. They also do many community events and fundraisers.
“It’s an excellent mentoring program focusing on girls’ building their character,” said Madison.
“Watching the young people grow and their eyes light up,” said Harrell Carter, President of Jackson Madison County NAACP.
“As these girls change and go through the program, they are changing their family history. It definitely is a betterment for our society,” said Watkins’ friend, Penny Roberts.
It’s a society that is now improved with stronger young women thanks to Ella Watkins.
“Stay focused, be positive, and strive for the best in life!” said Watkins.