Care to Lead Mentorship Program for Young Girls

“A mentor is someone who allows you to see the hope inside yourself.” — Oprah Winfrey

I have worked with young people for the last ten years. In that time I served as nanny, private tutor, after school group leader, leadership instructor, program director, senior program director, and director of student life. I could not have gone as far as I can in such little of a time without the love, support, and reassurance of all of my mentors. With each obstacle, they poured into me, helped me grow in perspective, and redirected me to keep going and keep striving. 

Care to Lead is dedicated to improving the lives of young teenage women of color in Brownsville through empowerment activities, mentorship, and sisterhood circles to support their academic and socio-emotional development.

Care to Lead was spawned out of my love for mentorship and the deep need of the girls in the Brownsville community to be surrounded by women who can elevate them with affirmations, consolation, and encouragement. Studies have shown how young people benefit from consistent mentorship. Some findings include:

++Girls with a mentor are two and half times more likely to be confident in their academic performance. (
++A mentor increases a student’s likelihood of attending college by 50 percent. (
++Youth in a mentor program are 46 percent less likely to use drugs and 27 percent less likely to use alcohol. (

That is merely the tip of the iceberg as statistics for young women of color are far more disparate. All of these reasons serve as fuel to launch Care to Lead to continue to support the young women of Brownsville by creating a network of continual support that can see them through the accomplishment of the personal and career goals.

Care to Lead has 3 levels of engagement including:

**Bi-weekly Saturday workshops in confidence-building, team-building, and leadership-building.
**Pop-up Empowerment brunches for girls, mothers, sisters, aunts that allow for women to come together, dress beautifully, eat great food, and dance while honoring one another and ourselves. 
**Mentorship network, pairing young women with a mentor that can relate to their lived experiences, provide reassurance and support.

I implore and urge you all in supporting me in this feat. All proceeds collected will go towards supplies and catering the brunches. All brunches held will be at no cost to our girls therefore anything you can donate (or nicely convince others to donate) will be greatly appreciated.

With gratitude,
Cristy Gonzalez
Care to Lead Founder
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Cristy Gonzalez 
New York, NY