Powerful Voices is highlighting alumna Ressie, who was involved in our programs from ages 12 to 18. Ressie was also the keynote speaker at our first ever Girlvolution conference in 2010. When Powerful Voices thinks of Ressie words like strong, intelligent, wise, driven, compassionate, and leader come to mind. Read on to hear what she is up to now, how PV had an impact on her, and what she thinks about girls and the world!
Where are you now and what are you doing?
I am 19 and currently a sophomore at Hampton University in Hampton, VA. I am history major and am on a partial scholarship and ready to GRADUATE. I am soooo ready to get into a classroom and be the kind of teacher I was missing: passionate, committed, and knowledgeable. I also am involved in a mentoring program in Virginia called “Sister II Sister” as well as a mentor in the office of Student Support Services, there I help mentor freshmen on their journey of college-life.
How did you get involved with Powerful Voices?
The way I got involved with Powerful Voices was through my after school program called Girls R.A.P. which stands for Rights Action Power [program now called Powerful Choices] in 7th grade at Denny Middle School.
What was your first impression of Powerful Voices?
My first impression was that I was in a place of growth and positive energy.
Looking back, how did Powerful Voices impact your life?
Hugely. Without Powerful Voices I would not be the self-sufficient and powerful woman I am today. With the lessons taught in Girls R.A.P. and the job opportunities that I had with Powerful Voices I was able to build my character and become more well-rounded.
What is the best thing that has happened to you since being involved with Powerful Voices?
There have been a lot of things to be proud of and grateful for, but if I had to choose one it would have to be, getting accepted in college in 2011.
What might someone be surprised to know about you?
If someone was to just look at where I am now and all that I am doing, they would be surprised at how far I have come to be where I am today. I have seen and lived struggle, but I refuse to let my future children do the same.
If you could have any superpower, what would it be?
To be able to read people’s minds. If I had that superpower I would be able to help those who are too
shy and timid to ask for help and assist them whenever needed… kind of like myself when I started Girls R.A.P.
What do you think are important issues affecting girls?
At this point in time, I think self-esteem. This issue is the major one which creates the “sub issues” such as teen pregnancy, prostitution, high dropout rates, and the list goes on.
What would you like to change about the world?
I would like to change the overall attitude about education, more specifically in the United States. I am a history major going into education and I feel there is an overall need for the attitude to change from a want to a necessity to flourish.
What is your dream for girls?
That girls would OWN their INDEPENDENCE and STRENGTH and take over the world. If women as a whole understood their endless capabilities then, the men in the world have to choice but accept
and hopefully understand as well.