#Stepping Into Service

My name is Talia Edgar. I am the Founder and Program Director of Stepping Into Sisterhood Organization. I'm currently in the process of making this organization into an official 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Stepping Into Sisterhood is a mentor program and step team for 1st - 8th-grade girls. Our mission is to help young women achieve economic security, independence, and success. Through our hands-on social projects and involvement within the community, we not only learn to be better women but we give back to all walks of life hoping to create a better life for everyone.

Every summer we arrange a social impact project, host a community event and give back. As a reward for their commitment and effort, SIS works to offer our annual Eunice K. Bradshaw scholarship as well. The year 2022-2023 was my first year teaching 6th-grade students. At the start of the year, students were commonly seen wearing trendy bracelets. Some were handmade and others that were store-bought. Towards the 2nd Trimester, it was brought to my attention that these bracelets were more than just a fashion accessory or statement. Instead, they had become a cover-up for self-harm.

What started as just a conversation among students and personal stories they shared with me about their inner pain, grew into a pursuit of spreading awareness amongst the school, eventually becoming an entire social impact project focusing on self-harm and suicide awareness. As well as support for victims of abuse, assault, and more. What sprouted within a classroom, grew to be a blossoming issue that many kids felt needed to be shared with the world along with their stories needing to be heard.

After saying this, I move forward with sharing that we began our very own "Bracelet Project" and will be hosting our community event Imag;ne Success...

Imag;ne Success is a wellness fair community event focusing on self-harm awareness and suicide prevention. This event was created with the purpose of bringing awareness to families about the frequency and likelihood of youth inflicting self-harm or having thoughts of taking their life. This includes being an ally to someone who is currently dealing with that state of mind or that has overcome it. Not only is the event spreading awareness, but it is to inform individuals of advice and solutions on how to better support them. This event was created following the Bracelet Project.

The Bracelet Project was created in February 2023, with the intention to help prevent self-harm among youth and teens. As well as, empowering the trend of wearing bracelets and changing the use of hiding scars. The mission behind this project is to encourage youth to work together and not be afraid of helping others to choose light and positivity. To choose tomorrow instead of today. To change the use of bracelets to represent perseverance and overcoming the thoughts that discourage us from wanting to continue with life.

During the project, the Bracelet Club was created in an attempt to offer a safe and inclusive space for students to talk while making bracelets. With a goal of making 100 bracelets, by the end of our time together we created 208 bracelets within a month. We intend to give these bracelets out at the "Imag;ne Success" event.

After saying all of this, I am proud to refer to myself as solely a facilitator doing nothing but providing a safe space and opportunity for youth to be hands-on leaders while impacting their very own community. The purpose of this Go Fund Me is to help go towards the cost of this event and to assist with becoming an official 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization so that we can continue our work even after the summer.

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Talia Edgar
Ypsilanti, MI

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