Each year, Washington Area Women’s Foundation’s Rock Star Fund awards several young women of color with up to $2,000 to invest in themselves, and our community through individualized projects that foster a culture of learning, leadership, and positivity. The Fund also works to advance the Young Women’s Initiative Blueprint for Action, a plan driven by young women of color and community members to shift local policies and practices affecting young women.
Last month, one of our 2021 Rock Star Fund awardees, Isabella “Astro” Getahun (12), launched “5-Minute Mentors”, a video series that connects young people of color with positive role models in the Washington, DC metropolitan area and provides them with the tools needed to counteract challenges and societal barriers faced.
“By selecting me, [Washington Area Women’s Foundation] gave me the opportunity to participate in this project. During the time of this project, I saw so many negative news posts about youth of color and wanted to create something that would give youth of color something positive in the media. As a result, I have grown tremendously personally and professionally. Their monthly check-ins served as important motivators, and I look forward to working with The Foundation again in the future.”
– Isabella “Astro” Getahun, 2021 Rock Star Awardee
According to research, 87% of mentors and mentees say their mentoring relationships make them feel empowered and contribute to their development of self-confidence 1. Through “5-Minute Mentors”, Astro is providing her peers with a powerful mentoring experience that promotes personal, academic, and professional success.
Each “5-Minute Mentors” episode interviews women of color of various backgrounds, including those without a professional degree. The reason? Astro feels it is necessary to highlight the benefits of having a mentor, especially for prospective mentees who do not plan to attend a 4-year college.
Featured mentors include:
- Jeanette Reyes – Fox 5 News Anchor
- Mallory Striplin – Peer Mentor and Student
- Erika Preira – DC Public School Administrator
- Cherita Harrod – Engineer and Teacher
- Stephanie Medina – Entrepreneur and Salon Owner
When we asked Astro about how she envisions “5-Minute Mentors” growing in the future, she responded by saying she wants to use the remainder of her funds to invest in her YouTube channel. She would like to also increase the number of mentors participating in her project and would like to invite mentees to submit questions for the mentors to respond to via video submission.
The Women’s Foundation is excited for Astro and her “5-Minute Mentors” series. Through our participatory grantmaking, we are helping young women like Astro create a pathway to building resilience in our young people, as well as impact in our community.
Watch Astro’s 5-Minute Mentors series here.