SHE began as a conversation between Dominicca Troi Washington and Domonique Natasha, two teachers at a high school in Chicago’s South Shore Community, while on a summer road trip to Detroit. The pair shared their life stories with one another, and spoke about their passion for urban youth, particularly young women.
While discussing the possibility of starting a young women’s club for their school, both agreed that the name “young women’s club” did not fully embody what they wanted to give to the girls they worked with. During their brainstorming session, Domonique turned to Dominicca and said “What about SHE?” The name was a perfect fit, but it was important to both women that it had meaning as well, so the discussion continued. Dominicca suggested the name be an acronym which prompted discussion around what defines a whole woman, better yet, a whole human. It didn’t take long for the two to agree that SHE simply means to be Strong. Humble. and Empowered. Excited about what was to come, Dominicca committed herself to developing a strand focused on building the Social and Self Awareness of female youth, while Domonique committed to developing a strand focused on building the image and self esteem of female youth through Health and Beauty.
Upon the start of the school year, as the program began to gain momentum, Dominicca realized that SHE was missing a key component. The curriculum needed a focus area that would culminate the girls’ experiences with both strands, and allow them to put what they learn into practice. After some discussion around the need for a well rounded curriculum, both agreed that a College and Career Readiness section was needed, and Marrissia Jones, a fellow educator at their school, seemed like an ideal candidate to head this section. The idea was proposed to Marrissia and she agreed to join the team by developing and directing the third and final strand of SHE.
SHE’s pilot program launched in September 2017, accepting 44 bright and brilliant young ladies with an overall GPA of 3.7.