Bellwood Pastor To Launch Free Summer Mentoring Program For Girls

Sunday, June 16, 2019 || By Community Editor || @maywoodnews

Featured image: Pastor Annette Barker, who recently launched a girls’ mentoring program. | Shanel Romain

A Bellwood pastor is set to launch a summer program tailored for young women in the Proviso Township area.

Rev. Annette Barker, the pastor of Christian Unity Church, 2140 Washington Blvd. in Bellwood, recently announced that she’s teaming up with Bellwood Village Clerk Janel Moreland and educators Samuella Marzetta-Griggs and Jayda Tenille James to launch the Girl Succeed Summer Mentoring Program designed for young women ages 11 through 14.

The free mentoring program will offer free workshops in a variety of areas, including reading, writing, art and dance.

The workshops will take place on Tuesday evenings, 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., June 18 through July 30, inside of the Bellwood municipal building’s second-floor community room, located at 3200 Washington Blvd. in Bellwood.

Samuella Marzette-Griggs, Jayda Tenille James and Pastor Barker during the June 8 launch of their mentoring program. | Shanel Romain

During a launch event for the program on June 8, Evelyn Phillips said that she’ll be registering her daughter, a Proviso East High School student, in the program.

The event featured a range of vendors selling jewelry and other merchandise, in addition to performances by acts like Proviso East High School’s Dancing Divas.

“Recently, my daughter was bullied and I wanted to introduce her to girls doing things to empower themselves,” Phillips said, adding that her daughter’s a Dancing Diva. “It’s amazing to see that someone is doing something for the young women.”

Members of the Proviso East Dancing Divas perform during the June 8 launch of their mentoring program. | Shanel Romain

In her biography, Barker said that she wants to push the young women “to establish themselves and walk into their destiny, as they develop their unique inner beauties that will allow their outer beauty to shine” brightly for others.

“I am a girl who succeeds,” Barker said, referencing her more than 20 years of pastoral, teaching, counseling and mentoring experience.

That mantra —“I am a girl who succeeds” — was repeated by Barker’s collaborators.

James — a Hillside resident who has taught in Maywood-Melrose Park-Broadview Elementary Schools District 89 for more than 20 years — is the creator of Phenomenal Black Woman, an online community designed to empower women.

Evelyn Phillips during the June 8 launch of their mentoring program. | Shanel Romain

Marzetta-Griggs is a longtime D89 teacher and certified reading specialist who also has years of experience tutoring and facilitating scholarships for young people.

Moreland said that, as clerk, one of her initiatives has been to focus on millennials and that her higher purpose “is to help, serve, inspire and empower people to be the best they can be.”

For more info or to register for the Girl Succeed Summer Mentoring Program, click here. VFP

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