Nzuri, which means beautiful in Swahili, is a mentoring program that is designed for African American 8th grade girls. The program is by application only and is a true coming of age program complete with a graduation. Participants will meet for 10 sessions over the course of the summer beginning in June. Five sessions are in person and five sessions are virtual. The graduation will take place in August. The cost of the program is $150.00 and scholarships are available. The program is limited to 25 African American girls in Mecklenburg County North Carolina who are currently completing the 8th grade.
The mission of the Nzuri program centers around the manta of R.E.S.P.E.C.T., which stands for Responsibility, Excellence, Strong, Positive, Educated,Confident, Talented young ladies. This mantra was developed by the first Nzuri participants as the cornerstone of the program. Nzuri participants learn from hands-on team building exercises, individual assignments, public speaking exercises, small group discussions and research, as well as one-on-one mentoring with the facilitators.
Participants that complete the program report increased self esteem and self awareness, higher grades, better relationships with friends and family and a sense of sisterhood with other participants. Facilitators instill a sense of purpose with the girls and a strong lifelong bond with an clear understanding and expectation that the futures of the young women are in fact LIMITLESS!