Young women’s em­pow­er­ment fundraiser to of­fer vi­sion

New Haven Register (New Haven, CT) - - NEWS - By Brian Zahn brian.zahn @hearst­medi­

NEW HAVEN — Every queen needs a vi­sion.

At the very least, that’s what Tasheha Rick­ettsKidd, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of Daugh­ters of Di­vine Destiny Acad­emy, hopes to con­vey.

“A lot of times, young ladies have ex­pe­ri­enced trau­matic ex­pe­ri­ences that have af­fected how they see them­selves,” she said.

D3 Acad­emy, a non­profit, was founded in 2014 as an after-school pro­gram at James Hill­house High School to work with atrisk girls. To­day, the pro­gram op­er­ates at Hill­house and Wil­bur Cross High School, with about 20 girls associated with the pro­gram from both schools.

“Our goal is to change the tra­jec­tory of how they see them­selves, and maybe their be­hav­iors will fol­low,” Rick­etts-Kidd said.

One of the ways of do­ing that, she said, is em­bed­ded in the “di­vine” phi­los­o­phy.

“We want them to un­der­stand they are young queens,” she said.

The acad­emy Dec. 16 will hold a fundraiser at the Omni New Haven Ho­tel at Yale, where an es­ti­mated 200 women will make vi­sion boards. For the $69 cost of en­try, Rick­etts-Kidd said at­ten­dees get food and ac­cess to in­spi­ra­tional speak­ers and coaches who will help them cre­ate a vi­sion board, or a phys­i­cal rep­re­sen­ta­tion of their goals and the steps they will take to reach them.

Myana Mal­lory, a se­nior at Wil­bur Cross, said a sim­i­lar vi­sion board pro­gram she did with the D3 Acad­emy was “ben­e­fi­cial”

“We want them to un­der­stand they are young queens.”

Tasheha Rick­etts-Kidd, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of Daugh­ters of Di­vine Destiny Acad­emy

to her.

“It gave me a chance to align my goals and get my thoughts and ideas to­gether to know what I re­ally wanted, not just out of the school year but in all as­pects of how I wanted to grow,” Mal­lory said. “(D3 Acad­emy) builds our con­fi­dence and we talk about self-love.”

Re­cently, Mal­lory said par­tic­i­pants did a “Woman Crush Wed­nes­day” pro­gram in which they pre­pared a pa­per and pre­sen­ta­tion on a woman who in­spires them. Mal­lory said she se­lected ac­tor Taraji P. Hen­son, known for play­ing the role of the dom­i­neer­ing Cookie in the tele­vi­sion show “Em­pire.”

“She was so de­ter­mined, no mat­ter her ob­sta­cles,” Mal­lory said, some­thing she felt she could trans­late to her own life as the founder of the fash­ion brand GlowGet­ter. She said, in high school, she’s seen girls ar­gue about shades of skin, so she made a hoodie with the mes­sage “beauty has no skin tone.”

“I’m re­ally into fash­ion; I work on pro­vid­ing pos­i­tive mes­sages through the ac­ces­sories,” she said.

Speak­ers at D3 Acad­emy’s fundraiser will be tele­vi­sion star and entertainment in­dus­try in­sider Yandy Smith and WTNH News8’s Jo­ce­lyn Mam­inta.

Contributed Photo

The D3 Acad­emy vis­its New Haven’s Young Girls Rock Sum­mit.

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