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Meet Lorraine Thomas of Destiny’s Daughters of Promise in Cobb County

Today we’d like to introduce you to Lorraine Thomas.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
Over thirty years ago, I found myself staring down the barrel of a handgun after I decided to end an unhealthy relationship. The blast that raced toward my chest should have killed me.

Miraculously, my life was spared and the experience changed my life forever. Drawing on my strong Christian faith, I responded to what I describe as “God’s call” and became the founder of Destiny’s Daughters of Promise – a mentor and leadership program for young girls. With a Master’s Degree in Education and a long-time educator, I had unique insight into what public schools could and could not provide for students. It was my desire to use my experience and the lessons learned to help girls discover their purpose and their voice. We joined forces with engaged parents, local schools, community leaders, businesses and corporations to help teens graduate and become productive citizens. When we save a girl, we save a generation. We refuse to allow our girls to accept being bullied, abused or ignored.

Girls involved in the program are matched with adult mentors, taught vital life skills through direct instruction, and given opportunities for career exploration. For nearly ten years, our organization has worked to prepare young girls for college, careers and a life of bold success.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Some of the struggles along the way has been in ensuring that youth development issues are addressed consistently so that the challenges they face can be reduced to nominal numbers.

We want to engage, educate and mobilize community stakeholders to take ownership of the issues teens face and work together to eliminate these issues.

Please tell us about Destiny’s Daughters of Promise.
Destiny’s Daughters of Promise is entering its tenth year. The majority of the teachers report that they have seen significant progress in the girls involved in the program, including student grades and class participation. Our program graduates have now begun to successfully pursue post-secondary goals in college. With our intervention and services, we have helped to reduce the consequences of inappropriate behavior, such as delinquency, teen pregnancy, truancy or expulsion. There is also increasing demand for our program. Because of the overwhelming positive impact of the program, we have received numerous requests to expand our program.

If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
If I had to start over, I would have spent more time researching youth programs to learn about the challenges non profits face and the best practices in overcoming them.

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