Almost four years ago, 7 Crittenton women and I came together to talk about the support systems that worked for us, the things that didn’t, and what we wanted to see in place for girls who were now in our shoes.
It was a neat experience that I will never forget – each of us came from different walks of life, we were all different ages. We were all connected by similar experiences and we realized we were lacking the same thing. That bond gave us the motivation to create something that would transcend age, culture, and location. We needed something bold, and thus, BOLD (Bridging Opportunity, Love and Determination) was born.
We learned that what each of us did not have was social capital. We came to the realization that it wasn’t what we knew but who we knew. This became evident as some of us found ourselves in trouble and all we had to do call National Crittenton to find the right person to help us overcome the situation. For many people, their parents can make those connections; us, not so much. The Society (a component of BOLD which is a mobile app) was our solution to this problem. We envision young women aging out of their respective programs and making the transition into independence. Many of them are not ready and don’t have the right support systems in place. The Society will fill that gap. Sisters will be waiting to connect, give advice, support, and be the safe space that every young woman needs.
Last week, we visited three separate cities in the country and started enrolling sisters. I had the opportunity to present at the Healthy Teen Network Annual Conference and we heard from providers how the Society would help so many of their girls. It was a dream come true because our vision was finally resonating with others and from the comments in the “Society Wall” we can see it’s already making a positive impact. This is what we were waiting for. We want to continue to bring this app to more young women who need it, or older sisters who want to make a difference and support others. The Society is a safe space that can only be accessed by invitation only – we are committed to respecting the privacy of our sisters. I am looking forward to continuing to spread the word about BOLD, to meet other women who have shared experiences, and to expand the reach of our sisterhood.
I always say the Society serves dual purpose – it has been both therapeutic and empowering for me. We now have sisters all the country, and we want to make sure that we continue to bring it to more girls who need it.
This Giving Tuesday, consider making a donation to National Crittenton so that our vision can continue to grow, and so that more young women can be a part of The Society.