This month for our “Be the Change Spotlight” I’d like to introduce you to The Beautiful Foundation. I spoke with Lauren Perry, Director of the foundation, and am so excited to share all I learned about this exciting nonprofit making a change in the lives of young women in the New Orleans area. Lauren, a former participant in the program herself, fully understands the impact this program can have on a young girl’s life.
How The Beautiful Foundation got started
“7 in 10 girls believe they are not good enough or do not measure up in some way, including their looks, performance in school and relationships with family and peers.”
It was with statistics like the one above in mind that The Beautiful Foundation was established in 1999 by Mrs. Eugenie Enclarde and her daughter, Christina Pappion. Their goal was to provide gender-specific programming dedicated to the leadership development and overall well-being of adolescent girls. After surviving Hurricane Katrina, the organization established a presence in the New Orleans educational landscape providing in school, after school and summer programs impacting the lives of under-served area girls.
In 2015, after serving approximately 2,500 adolescent girls, the organization was considering dissolution, however, the foundation restructured itself under the helm of a former program participant and alumni, Lauren Perry. The Beautiful Foundation has since begun re-establishing itself as a major influence in the city of New Orleans.
What The Beautiful Foundation Does
The Beautiful Foundation provides a safe environment for leadership development in under-served young women (ages 12-22) by focusing on: self esteem, entrepreneurial thinking and their emotional, mental and physical well being. The organization’s mission statement is “Creating a world filled with confident, empowered women with new perspectives who positively impact our community”.
The Beautiful Foundation is integrated into middle and high schools in the New Orleans area offering a safe space for young girls to learn how to express themselves while training them using an evidence-based curriculum covering topics such as: life skills, financial literacy, self-esteem, entrepreneurship, cyber-bullying, friendships and relationship skills. In addition to their in-school programming The Beautiful Foundation offers seasonal camps and topical workshops.
A typical in school session with The Beautiful Foundation would start with each participant sharing for an emotional check-in. Then there would be a lesson on a topic such as depression, self-esteem, financial literacy or other life skills. The session would then be wrapped up with mentor-led small group discussions related to the lesson of the day.
Since it’s re-establishment in 2015, the Beautiful Foundation has empowered nearly 300 girls through school and community based programs.
With COVID running rampant in our area, The Beautiful Foundation is currently re-vamping their program planning to go virtual for Fall 2020, but hoping to be back to in-person meetings in Spring of 2021.
How you can support The Beautiful Foundation
You can support The Beautiful Foundation by making a heartfelt financial contribution here or through volunteer work – they are currently seeking new board members and technical support volunteers as they pivot into an online program for the Fall. For more information you can contact them at [email protected]thebeautifulfoundation.