The organization helps young black women gain professional skills and confidence

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RICHMOND, Va. — A local nonprofit focused on nurturing young, aspiring African-American women entrepreneurs is looking to fill the ranks of its program with some of the region’s brightest minds.

Before some middle and high school girls walk through the doors of Girls For A Change, the bar is already set pretty high. CEO Angela Patton said the group is focused on preparing black girls for the job market.

The organization is particularly proud of the growth of two programs focused on entrepreneurship and workforce development. Their immersion lab is one such program.

“Which is our entrepreneurship program, but we actually help shape aspiring young black women entrepreneurs. We also make sure they get mentorship and have certifications. startup to start their business and that opens Feb. 1 and we have our orientations happening as well,” Patton said.

Patton says they are also looking for participants for their Girl Ambassador program, a program aimed at helping young women hone their career-readiness skills.

“We have the opportunity for the girls to receive skills and more certifications, mentoring. Then we put them in a summer job where they get paid for their contribution but they get the networking and the resources and still a time, this essential mentorship so we can make sure she’s ready to work,” Patton said.

Students in grades ninth through twelfth are paired with a variety of local businesses, providing them with a variety of opportunities.

“Our community in Richmond, especially the small businesses, is open and ready to really educate our girls and we have Adiva Naturals and we also have the science museum, we have the VCU School of Education wing, you know, the products wellness, social media and tech startups,” Patton said.

The organization helps women develop not only their professional skills and work ethic, but also their self-confidence as they think about the future and the impact they want to leave in their community.

“And the goal is to make sure our girls get a solid background and understand what the future of work has to offer, but we also want to make sure these amazing recruiting partners also know what our girls have to offer,” says Patton.

Applications for these programs open on February 1. The application deadline is February 4. To apply, click on here.

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