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Debra McClendon-Boddie on leadership: Collaborate with others, seek their advice, then work

By on April 29, 2021

Debra McClendon-Boddie on leadership: Collaborate with others, seek their advice, then work

Debra McClendon-Boddie, creator and president of PGR Foundation Inc., makes a woman to get straight down a runway keeping an image of an inspiring ancestor or part model. The yearly “Ancestral Storytelling Fashion Show” helps girls figure out how to keep a legacy just like the girl when you look at the photo they selected.

Debra McClendon-Boddie went along to a “You Can’t Fail” meeting arranged by Gwen Webber-McLeod and recalls one of several speakers challenging the viewers because of this:

“She asked us to improve our hand that is right she stated: do you want to pledge to complete everything you can for whom you can when you’re able to?”

McClendon-Boddie took the pledge. That time last year became a turning point, and also by the next 12 months she had started dealing with girls. She describes the foundation’s work with her site: PGR Foundation Inc. makes young women of y our community to reside in a varied and global culture. Our mentoring system cultivates the mind-set of girls, many years 6-18, to make sure they’re “Poised, Gifted, & prepared” for the planet.


She began mentoring five girls in June 2012. Now she’s got eight mentors assisting significantly more than 50 girls. Before , the building blocks utilized room in the Hillside Work-Scholarship Connection on East Avenue in Syracuse. Such as the frontrunner of each organization, McClendon-Boddie has already established to pivot to tactics that are new the pandemic.

McClendon-Boddie, that is retired from a vocation in work and training for underrepresented and economically disadvantaged people, states effective leaders collaborate with others, look for their advice, then work about what they learn.

I would like to hear your advice about leadership and training girls that are young but first let me know about beginning PGR.

I’ve an account, as well as people enthusiastic about just just just what i actually do, there aren’t any stories that are short. (Laughter) Funding-wise, i will offer you one thing quick and sweet, but that’s not exactly exactly what you’re asking about.

I love hearing tales, therefore proceed.

okay, in November 2011, we attended an all-women’s conference called You Can’t Fail.

I became surprised once I went because I experienced never ever experienced an environment that is professional there have been many women with various color melanin. I worked the majority of my entire life in greater ed within an employment and training unit. They were Caucasian-led and male dominated, and I was often the only African-American woman, the only Black, in the room when I went to conferences.

I happened to be maybe maybe maybe not seen or heard and a complete lot of that time period felt like We wasn’t respected. But that’s not just just what we’re referring to here either.

Among the we Can’t Fail workshops had been entitled mentoring. We never ever had a formal mentor. Never Ever. Maybe perhaps perhaps Not in school. perhaps Not at your workplace. The girl whom went the mentoring workshop chatted concerning the need certainly to achieve right straight back which help younger females. She provided all of us these data about our education system, the pipeline from college to jail, domestic physical physical physical violence. After all, she painted a picture that is horrific.

Her final thing, she asked us to improve our right hand, and she stated: are you going to pledge to accomplish that which you can for whom you can when you’re able to?

I returned, and I also had been telling several of my peers (at OCC) about my experience only at that workshop. Two times later on, a colleague stumbled on me personally and said: I’m sure your skill. I discovered someplace where you could get mentor. There was this mentoring program called “Pretty Girls Rock given that they have to…”

I became like: Actually? I’ve two males. I don’t know any single thing about girls.

She said: Well, we think you’ll be good at it.

We took her advice. We went up to the Boys & Girls Club on East Fayette Street. We went in there and, Stan, I experiencedn’t been there in years, and there clearly was a big amount of african-american girls. Plus it had been run by young ladies who had been piecing together programs and tasks through the mind and heart.

They certainly were like: Oh, we could use you.

We went in a space with little to no girls in addition they had been reducing numbers and color and doing handicrafts – all that sweet stuff. And I also ended login up being like, Awww!

We volunteered 2 times, then that program folded.

We decided to go to the co-founder, and I also stated: I’d like to carry on girls that are pretty but possibly on an inferior scale.

She said: you are able to, however you really need to get your own personal DBA.

My guys had been in university at that right time, and all sorts of types of material had been changing within my individual life.

So a DBA was got by me. I was thinking we’re able to run under Pretty Girls Rock, that they known as PGR. And so I named it PGR Foundation. We contacted the Syracuse University Law Clinic to secure a c)3 that is 501. We pledged to offer $2,500 per year of my money that is own to it work. We went along to Wayne O’Connor at Hillside. I didn’t understand Wayne after all, but We went in, in which he stated we’re able to utilize classrooms at Hillside.

For every conference, we built a curriculum to a subject. We make already-established programs that are professional and I also refer girls to programs and occasions in the community. When they can’t manage it, we health supplement it or we shell out the dough outright. Most of the girls – 6-year-olds to 18 – do community solution once per month. We get in touch with their educational counselors. If they’re having troubles academically, we develop programs for them. We have eight mentors. The title of my mentoring program is Poised, Gifted, prepared. I’ve a board – nine of us regarding the board.

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