WOMENS EMPOWERMENT DEVELOPMENT, INC.
Before the organization was formalized, Councilwoman Tina Vick, along with a group
of volunteers, began a full-day camp for impoverished girls ages 13 to 18. The inaugural group
of 100 young ladies were recruited from public housing complexes in downtown
Newport News, as well as An Achievable Dream Public Schools.
They participated in workshops that included topics like the value of staying in school, goal-setting, good decision making, pregnancy prevention, self-esteem, and the elimination of alcohol and drugs.
For many of the girls, the Girls Camp was their first time attending an all-day camp with
relatable information, lunch and personal journals for reflection on their goals and
lessons learned. After the camp, the girls continued to gather and meet with their mentors on a
quarterly basis and a Holiday Social.
How We Started
The initial day-camp in 2013 was deemed a success after hearing many positive comments from
attendees, mentors, speakers, parents and community leaders. Due to the success of Girls Camp, Women's Empowerment Development, Incorporated was organized in 2015 as a nonprofit, 501 (c3) for the purpose of holding workshops and other classes in the community to inform, encourage and empower girls and women in Virginia.
Girls Camp, which is under the umbrella of Womens Empowerment Development Inc.,
provides prevention/intervention for 13-18 year old girls. The Girls Camp model brings
awareness to girls and young women that they can control their own destiny. Volunteers follow
up with each girl with quarterly phone calls and visits.
The mission of Girls Camp is to implement and execute workshops for girls and women to
prepare them to make healthy decisions to live a better life. The goal is to work with girls and
women across the state of Virginia in impoverished communities to prepare them for adulthood
and to have a community of women who are educated, employed and self-sufficient.
These goals will be accomplished through the values of love, determination, hard work, and a
dedication for a better life.
The speakers at this unique camp are all volunteers who are successful women who grew up in
public housing complexes and/or low income family neighborhoods in Newport News. These
speakers/mentors were purposefully chosen to provide an opportunity for the young girls to meet women from their neighborhood, who believed in education, job training and goal-setting to succeed. It also models the reality,that no matter what your situation, with hard work
and dedication, success is inevitable.
Girls Camp is now in its 9th year, meaning many of the girls who attended the early Camps
are in college, have successful careers, and are leaders in the community in which they live. We
look forward to inviting them back to be mentors and speakers to a new group of young ladies.
We believe all women can embrace who they are,
can define their future, and can change the world.