by Tenesha Green | WeINSPIRE Reporter
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Fear, doubt and low self-esteem are realities young girls often face as they transition to middle or high school. In the film Mean Girls, not having the best clothes, not being the prettiest, or becoming pregnant are all ammunition for Regina George and The Plastics as they navigate this transition.
Nerissa Malloy was voted least likely to succeed in middle school and became a teenage mother. Through a series of lived experiences, she experienced self-doubt and the stressors of societal judgment at an early age. Malloy is now a Registered Nurse, Author, Success Coach, and Entrepreneur in the Washington D.C. Metropolitan area.
“Growing up I wish there were programs out there for me,” she said. “Programs that helped with confidence, making friends, self-esteem, goal building, and education.”
Malloy never forgot how her teenage self felt when it seemed all the odds were working against her. She channeled her hurt and spun it into positive energy. In 2018, Sweets Girlz Inc. was officially launched as a nonprofit organization with Malloy as the Founder/CEO.
Located in Upper Marlboro, MD, the mission of the organization is to equip the girls with the tools they need “to be confident, outgoing, leaders of the future.”
With the support of four board members and a team of seven ladies, Malloy has been able to host numerous events since Sweets Girlz launched.
“Some events we have had are ‘I Am’ Vision Board, ‘I Am’ Hashtag Goals and a Teen Health & Wellness expo,” Malloy said.
Malloy’s charismatic, caring, down to earth personality is the driving force for Sweets Girlz. Wynee Lyles, the Sweets Girlz photographer, has been working with Malloy since her “I Am” Canvas Vision Board Workshop in February and recalls what it’s like to work with Malloy.
“Mrs. Nerissa is definitely someone I look up to as a businesswoman, as an educator, and most importantly as a woman,” Lyles said. “It’s grace and style everywhere she goes and she’s very influential for younger women, such as myself.”
The path forward for Sweets Girlz is to launch a Peer Mentoring group. This allows girls to have a safe space to talk with someone. This program is the catalyst that is needed to achieve the ultimate goal of providing young girls with adequate support. She urges people to support, start collaborations, and sponsor the organization. Malloy remembers how she felt as a young teen and is on a mission to ensure that no other girl ever feels that way.
“I want younger girls to know that they are needed,” Malloy said.