Two student participants flank Sheria Irving, Founder and Executive Director of SHE. (Courtesy photo)

She will enhance her self-esteem and practice self-care. She will graduate from high school and go to college. She will succeed in life and mentor others. That is  the abbreviated motto of SHE, an acronym that means Shaping Her Earth,  a 501c3 social impact nonprofit organization that mentors, uplifts, and empowers young women of color.

“At our core, Shaping Her Earth centers the voices of young women of color and confronts their routine and often ignored victimization, exploitation and discrimination that occur in their lives,” said Sheria Irving, the founder and executive director of SHE.

Irving believes strongly that the richest treasures one has is impacting the lives of others and helping them to fulfill their life’s dreams. Her mission for SHE began when she was a Special Education teacher for sixth graders in the New York Public School system.

“In my final year, my class consisted of 90% girls of color with everything from low self-esteem and value, to misguided attitudes and fatalistic thinking,” said Irving.

“I  saw myself in them; that need for my dreams to be championed, my environment to change and my presence to be affirmed and empowered. SHE became my way of being the change I needed,” added Irving.

Irving’s program would give girls a pathway to success through mentorship programs, workshops, retreats, community service and scholarship opportunities. These  opportunities would work synergistically to create a network or a community  that would also provide financial resources to support the mentees when they joined the workforce.

“Our specific mission is to equip young women of color with the tools to claim space, uplift their communities, grow their talents, and use their voices to affect positive change in their lives and the lives of others,” said Irving.

Irving assembled an impressive team of gendered minorities to create the SHE program’s curriculum. SHE consists of three sets of related programs with long-term aim.

SHE Mentors:  High school and college programs offer one-to-one mentoring, self-esteem building, career planning, financial literacy, wellness, and self-care.

SHE on Campus: Collegiate Cohorts serve as a secure on-campus network that prioritizes community building and personal development while also giving its leaders the opportunity to build necessary leadership skills, find community on campus and effect change.

SHE Retreats: Curated safe spaces with organized workshops and activities to promote self-growth and development, with the goal of creating a healthier and stronger community.

SHE student participants and future leaders. (Courtesy photo)

Participants feel that SHE has had a positive impact on their lives. Kimberli Flores is a mentor. She said being a mentor helped her to grow.

“This experience has been tremendously healing as I saw so much of myself in my mentee,” said Flores. “I was able to look back on my experiences with a fresh set of eyes and offer perspectives that I may have failed to see or take.  It served as some sort of closure in the form of giving back in a positive way,” she added.

Columbia University senior Jaala A. is a recent graduate. SHE helped Jaala A. to make that critical transition from student to professional.

“I was relocating to a place for work that is predominantly white and has no spaces for Black people and the maintenance of Black life,” said Jaala A. “The SHE scholarship gave me the funds to get the resources and materials I really needed,” added Jaala A.

Irving said they will hold their Annual SHE Retreat on August 13, 2022 in  Santa Monica. The theme is “Celebrating Self-Empowerment, Building Sisterhood, and Servicing the Community.”

The retreat will be a one-day “immersive experience with organized workshops and activities to promote growth and development with the ultimate goal of creating a healthier and stronger community,” said Irving.

Space is limited. Visit  their website, ,to sign up or reach out to them on  Instagram @shapingherearth to keep up with SHE!