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Grand Rapids organization working to keep young women on positive path forward

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Posted at 6:00 PM, Dec 30, 2022

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — The formative years of high school can set the tone for a teenager. Many in West Michigan are faced with detractors that may negatively influence them on their path.

But a growing organization in Grand Rapids has been recognized for its work to keep our youth on a positive path forward.

It's why Latasha Robertson-Crump has been named the Pay It Forward Person of the Month with Lake Michigan Credit Union.

PIFPOM December 2022

Girls Growing 2 Women is my calling, it’s my passion,” said Latasha, founder and CEO of Girls Growing to Women. And she has known that since high school.

She set out to create a group for young women she would have been involved in.

While there are groups out there working to bring our youth back on the right track, Girls Growing 2 Women is working to keep them on the right track to begin with.

“All it takes is one decision or giving into some of that pressure that they face. So, we want to make sure that we are here, there is a support system to equip them, to make sure that they feel included and valued, but also to help them walk through those things so that they don’t detour their path,” explained Latasha. “Some of our main components are self-esteem, healthy relationships, mental health. We really work to identify who they are, who they want to be, and what steps they need to take to make those changes.”

Take it from those who have gone through the program.

“I went to a very not diverse school, and I was struggling with identifying, as who I am as an Afra-Latina in the community, and she really helped me find self-love and different opportunities and recognize who I am as a person,” explained Alondra Marmol, a former participant.

Kessia Graves said, “I don’t think that I would be the young woman that I am without the support of this group.”

Graves is a former participant who is now the organization's activity coordinator, she knows firsthand the struggle of high school.

Those years are challenging times with sometimes no clear direction with so many questions and uncertainties.

“Being in the space is really awesome because you get a chance to connect with other young women who may have similar feelings,” said Graves.

The group meets two times a month, hosting workshops for teenage girls aged 14-18.

Their goal is to create independent thinkers who can impact the community, passing along their growth and paying it forward.

“So, they come here to Girls Growing 2 Women and they learn all these things and then they take it back to the community, into the classroom, and share that with others,” explained Latasha.

For the work she's put into Girls Growing 2 Women, Latasha Robertson-Crump was nominated and selected as the Pay it Forward Person of the Month.

“She is one of the most selfless people that I know. She is inspiring and she’s a badass. I don’t know if I can say that, but she is a badass,” said Graves.

They have a graduate program in the works called Woman to Woman to expand on the growth.

They actually have a waiting list to join but you can find more information for getting involved.

As the FOX 17 and Lake Michigan Credit Union Pay It Forward Person of the Month, Latasha will receive $550.

Know someone who should be our next Pay It Forward Person of the Month? Nominate them here.

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