Girls Rocking in the South was founded in 2012
GRITS was founded due to the lack of female mentorship in our area during that time. GRITS stemmed from our parent organization Escape 2 Sisterhood, which is a wellness organization for women established in 2008. Escape 2 Sisterhood empowers women and teaches them the importance of mental, physical, and spiritual balance through wellness retreats and events. GRITS aims to do the same with teen girls in hopes to reduce the incidence of occurrence with young girls growing up lacking self confidence, self worth, and proper guidance.
Upon working with the women in Escape 2 Sisterhood over the years, we began to see behavioral patterns that needed to be interrupted in the adults. There were problems prevalent like insecurities, bitterness, anger, hurt, failure to let go of the negativity in their lives, low self worth, a constant state of operating in fear, and many focused more on everyone and everything else first and placed themselves on the back burner. The founders, Suprena Hickman and Stephanie Willis, also worked in the community together with teen girls for Wilmington’s annual Teen Summit and they began to see the similarities in the teen girls as they did in the women.
The decision to start a program for the teen girls was a no brainer for the GRITS visionary, Suprena Hickman. With her gift of giving, nurturing, healing, educating, and creativity combined with her former partner Stephanie Willis’ gifts of nurturing, giving, and educating the youth, they put their fears aside and began building on a new road for the young ladies in need of assistance.
They advertised their new mentoring program and started with only five founding members and a volunteer. They didn’t get caught up with the numbers and focused more on providing quality care. The young girls were provided 1:1 mentoring, tutoring when necessary, and support for their school activities. They had monthly workshops focusing on self esteem, self worth, health, bullying, and so much more. They were taken on trips out of state to include private retreats and college tours. Also, because the founders were active in the community, the girls went along for the ride- even when they didn’t know what they were getting into.
Currently, our young ladies balance school, extracurricular activities like dance, band, sports, church leaders, and even working a job- in addition to having hundreds of hours of community service collectively. They maintain good grades and have exemplary behavior in school. All founding members have graduated from high school and are actively enrolled in college or working. The other members have gone on to pursue her passion in the extracurricular activities of their choice and our co-founder, Ms. Willis has since moved on from GRITS over the years. However, she continues to support the youth in any way she can.
Our young ladies are excited about what is to come for them in GRITS and they also have learned to use their creative minds to create products with an entrepreneurial mindset. The sky is truly the limit for them. The ultimate goal is true and positive transformation to last a lifetime and they are just getting started.