Someone once said that women are the future. Women are mothers, career women, sisters, aunts, nieces, daughters and most importantly natural born providers and nurturers. Young women go through several transitions in life up to adulthood and having someone there to serve as a guide to navigate the high tides and perils of growing up makes sailing that much smoother.

Beginning at age 10 on up to 18, young women begin to experience physical changes with the onset of puberty. For some it can be an awkward experience and for others a liberating one. Girls experience social changes in how they interact with their peers and particularly peers of the opposite and even same sex. For most, however, both these physical and social changes can bring about emotional stress and depression due to the feeling of helplessness in how to handle these changes.

Mentoring allows girls the chance to spend time with a caring and supportive woman or women who are invested in her success. There is a need even more for young women in urban communities. The statistics for teenage pregnancy, school dropout, and early sexual activity is at an all-time high. Providing these young women with the support and education they need to prevent these hurdles from arising gives them a better chance at reaching, attending, and finishing college and venturing into the career world as successful women.

Young women, especially in our urban communities need positive female role models–women who have overcome obstacles to become successful in their lives. It is imperative for them to have examples of women who have gained strength by coming together to network and to learn the importance of giving back to their cities and neighborhoods (regardless of if they have gotten anything from it or not), and to know that being a successful woman of power is a global movement that they should be a part of.

Studies conducted in the United States as per The Office of Juvenile Justice Programs, showed that 87 percent of young women who attended mentoring programs went to college within two years of high school graduation; 52 percent were less likely to become pregnant during their teenage years; and 46 percent were less likely to use illegal drugs and alcohol.

With the lack of positive representation of black women on television, it is important for positive role models to step up and teach our young girls. Women are tasked with the responsibility of ushering in new generations and nurturing, shaping and molding the minds of children, but if the women are not being nurtured, shaped and molded into a responsible, compassionate and successful adult while in her younger years, who do we then blame for a wayward, lost and crime filled generation? We blame the woman for not doing her part in raising her children better and teaching them a better way of living. We blame the absence of a father, but ultimately the woman for not making a better choice for a partner. This is why we cannot forget our young women and why mentoring programs for young women matter.

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