Global Brown Girls host “Planning for Your Future”

Published 5:17 pm Friday, May 19, 2023

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In 2017, two young Lowndes County ladies, Christy Daniel and Daraja Maye, visited Ghana, where they learned the basic needs of young women there. 

“We traveled to Ghana, taking donated books and toiletries, and that’s kind of where it all started,” Maye said. “We’ve both been very dedicated to service our whole lives and we did a lot in Montgomery where we went to school, but we grew up here in Lowndes County. We realized we have many peers who don’t have some of the resources we had, so we wanted to be a starter to help, especially high school kids and those entering the workforce to give them information or any other help they may need.”

The two friends formed the non-profit organization, Global Brown Girls, as an effort to meet those needs and to also provide resources to girls in Lowndes County. Since then, the group has hosted local events for Lowndes County girls, and the most recent, “Planning for Your Future Brunch”  took place on May 10 at Hayneville Middle School.

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“We had seven of our closest friends who attend the University of Alabama, Tuskegee University, Alabama A&M, Tennessee State University, the University of Montevallo, and Alabama State University, come and talk to tenth and eleventh graders about making sure they are planning and taking action for their future careers and college,” Daniel said. “We talked about things we wish we knew and would go back and change if we could.

Around 30 high school students attended the brunch, where they heard discussions and asked questions about ACT preparation, applying for scholarships, and first-hand accounts from panelists from a variety of career paths.

“Each of us have different majors and go to different colleges,” Daniel said. “We had decided we wanted to make sure [girls] could have a variety of women in the panel so they could ask questions.”

The discussion went well, Daniel reflected. Attendees were engaged and interactive, intrigued by the opportunities available to them.

Maye said one student asked a question which resonated with her on a personal level, describing herself as “not really a people person” but also expressing a desire to become involved with all aspects of campus life.

“I’m not really a people person [either],” Maye said. “In my freshman year, when I wasn’t in my room I was driving home. But I had to get out of that, because I realized I was not enjoying college. I stress now, especially to young women, that they really need to enjoy themselves. I wanted to make a difference at the university and that is something I had to learn to do for myself.”

Since the organization’s founding, the group has hosted annual programs and activities centered around young women’s social and academic well being.

In 2022, Maye and Daniel hosted a Juneteenth Celebration sip and paint activity and a Historically Black College and University (HBCU) block party.

The May 10 brunch was hosted by Hayneville Middle School, a location central to students from Central High School and The Calhoun School. Individuals and local businesses partnered to support the event.

“The event would not have been possible without our sponsors,” Daniel said. “We had over 20 sponsors and we want to give a special thanks to Lowndes County Schools Superintendent Jason Burroughs as well as Sammie Bailey, who was our golden sponsor.”