Girls learn to be ‘Leading Ladies'


Joann Jenkins, left, and Ardre Orie, center, with the girls who attended the Pink Wish Foundation Leading Ladies Camp.

AIDA MALLARD/Special to the Guardian
Published: Wednesday, August 1, 2012 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, July 31, 2012 at 10:28 p.m.

Girls attending the Pink Wish Foundation Inc. Leading Ladies Camp demonstrated their artistic talent last Thursday by performing praise dancing, reciting poetry and reading original essays.

Attended by 16 girls, the Leading Ladies Camp was held last week at the Santa Fe College Center for Innovation and Economic Development.

Pink Wish is a non-profit organization that empowers girls ages 2-18 with the knowledge and confidence to become poised and capable young ladies through etiquette instruction, academic excellence, economic empowerment and community outreach.

“We want the girls to develop their talents and provide an opportunity to express themselves in a positive way,” said Ardre Orie, founder and executive director of Pink Wish, which offers a year-long program for members that provides a college savings account, monthly programs and special events, such as leadership, economic development and other workshops. The cost of membership is $12 each month.

Joann Jenkins, regional director of Pink Wish and Orie's mother, said during the weeklong camp, campers participated in activities that consisted of a presentation by Jill Nash, owner of Advantage Media Productions in Gainesville, who inspired the campers to dream and to take action on their dream. Last Friday, the girls attended a leadership program at Chick-fil-A in the Oaks Mall.

Orie said Nash told the campers that a dream with no action is just a dream.

Jenkins said the campers rehearsed for two days to prepare for their performances last Thursday. “They've been overcome with anxiety,” Jenkins said. “But they've done a great job.”

During the week, campers wrote autobiographies stating their goals for a 10-year timeframe and how they would accomplish those goals. They expressed their feelings through art, dancing, poetry and essay composition and explored their talents. They even created hair bands with ribbons, flowers and feathers to wear during their performances.

“We talked about self-esteem and discussed things that tear them down,” Orie said.

The Pink Wish program received high praise.

Phyllis Benjamin said her granddaughter, Alexis Benjamin, has benefited greatly. “They (Orie and Jenkins) recognize the children's talents and raise their self-esteem,” Benjamin said. “Pink Wish is educational and really wonderful.”

“Pink Wish has taught me to be a leader, not a follower, and to follow my dreams,” said Alexis Benjamin, a seventh-grader at P.K. Yonge Developmental Research School.

To join and for more information, call 352-372-7666 or visit www.pinkwishfoundation.org.

Reader comments posted to this article may be published in our print edition. All rights reserved. This copyrighted material may not be re-published without permission. Links are encouraged.

▲ Return to Top