Every organization has a story that explains our reasons for being here, in this place, at this time. Our story began with an idea, generated five years ago, and nurtured by experiences, elders, and key opportunities. To learn more about our story visit:
The Story of Wonderfully Made
Why we do what we do, who we service, and why young people are powerful agents of change.
We developed Wonderfully Made and Girls who Lead due to the lack of appropriate services for Black girls, and to address the barriers they experience their daily lives. Black girls and young women feel disconnected from others. In the media, they are bombarded with images that do not represent them or their identity. In schools, Black girls often do not have positive connections, are not exposed to teachers who look like them. They are not represented thoroughly in the curriculum, therefore they are at risk for poorer outcomes (low self-esteem, disengagement from community, mental health challenges). Furthermore Black girls and women have difficulties with achieving their education and employment goals due to systemic racism, poverty, lack of support, exposure to high risk communities and home life.
Other Ontario statistics report that Black girls are disproportionately represented in child welfare. During their experience in child welfare, black girls and women are disconnected from their culture, their families, their faith-based beliefs and spirituality, and their traditions. They are less likely than other youth to return to their home communities. Many Black girls and women reside in homes where there is limited support in their families due to their parents’ need to provide for the family, disconnection between youth and their parents, and lack of parents’ understanding of issues that impact their lives. Statistics also show that Black youth experience higher rates of disproportionate numbers in the criminal justice system. These statistics do not indicate that Black people are more violent, it means they are over-policed, are diverted away from diversion programs, and are falsely accused of crimes. It means that their communities lack the meaningful representation of mentors, programs, and interventions designed to create greater opportunities of success. Further, our Black girls are not given the equal opportunity to be successful in school, or are encouraged to pursue careers in STEM programs, skilled trades or university and graduate programs.
Wonderfully Made seeks to address the lack of culturally appropriate services and programs that understand Black women and girls’ needs and are designed specifically to meet their needs. Our program aim seeks to build connections and foster healthy relationships with the
mentor and mentee program that will assess the identified target issues with a pre and post surveys.
In the United States, research with Black and
Latino students demonstrate that mentorship programs significantly improve young people’s engagement in services. Further, research shows that group programs help build youth’s connections in their community, and representation in groups improve success.