Even with the many advances towards female empowerment, collective memory still makes it easy to fall back into certain habits that set back the movement a few years or so. Sometimes, at society’s prodding, a woman can still be led to believe that she belongs only in the kitchen, or that she’s merely meant to be a pretty face. But there are also times when it’s her own diminished self-image that stops her from succeeding.
Writer and noted feminist Alice Walker once said “The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any.” Indeed, while women aren’t as outwardly subjugated now as they were in older times, some still need to be reminded of their potentials and strengths.
And that is exactly what Dr. Lois Frankel sought to do when she gave birth to her brainchild, the nonprofit organization, MOSTE. A well-known speaker on women and leadership roles, Frankel launched Motivating Our Students Through Experience in 1986. Its goal is to remove the obstacles that keep girls from disadvantaged backgrounds from succeeding.
Or as the group’s Development Co-Chair, Rikki Boyle, puts it, their mission is “to keep girls out of gangs, in school, and bound for college.” -To instill hope, one could say, because not only are the inner-city Mentees encouraged to stay in school, they’re also enjoined to do well in school. By way of example and support, MOSTE’s Mentors aim to inspire their “younger sisters” to grow beyond the statistics that mark their demographic.
Since its inception, MOSTE has provided guidance to 1000+ at-risk girls whose circumstances would otherwise keep them from attending college. The program starts in middle school where 7th or 8th grade Mentees are matched one-on-one with Mentors, professional women who come from different fields and industries. With the help of the volunteers, the younger girls learn about health and fitness, etiquette, financial literacy, and study skills. MOSTE also helps the Mentees create relationships through bonding activities, and get ready for college by touring local institutions.
- High school-aged Mentees are also prepared for college with the More MOSTE program. This includes activities like the following :
- On-campus workshops that include “a day at college,” A to G requirements, communication “ice breakers” sessions, etc.
- SAT courses for juniors and college essay writing tutoring for juniors.
- Overnight college campus visits.
- Community service projects (participation is required).
- The Awards Banquet at year’s end and goal-setting for summer break.
A more recent addition to MOSTE’s activities is Post MOSTE, invented specifically to help the young women thrive during their college years. It’s also the nonprofit’s way of following-through, ensuring that their Mentees receive the support they need before they finally go out into the real world.
According to MOSTE’s website, the program is started early to “create a college culture among 7th- and 8th-grade girls, one that grows each year they are in MOSTE.” They hope to imbue the girls with the academic and personal confidence “to commit to and chart their academic future by showing them the path to college.”
Each girl is given tools, like workshops and scholarships, that help her be the best student that she can be. But at the same time, she is also taught
to understand that her own success is not enough. It is also her duty to “return and open the door for others.”
Given MOSTE’s objectives, it is easy to see that mentors are integral to impressing on these young ladies their worth, as well as the idea that they can exceed society’s expectations for them. Rikki says “MOSTE would not exist without the help and dedication of so many wonderful volunteers. We are ALWAYS looking for additional mentors and would welcome assistance in any form.”
Some of this assistance has come in the form of printing services. As a 100% donation-based organization, the volunteer-run group works to keep costs down in every aspect if they can help it -including their print materials. This is why MOSTE is happy to be part of UPrinting’s UCommunity which allows 501(c)3 orgs to receive printing sponsorships and a permanent 10% discount on any subsequent printing jobs.
MOSTE has ordered catalogs, banners, and folded cards from UPrinting for their fundraising events. Rikki explains, “We require placard printing yearly for our fundraisers, but the quality of your banners have been so nice that we are able to reuse them time and time again”, helping them keep to their budget.
MOSTE is also glad to be featured on UPrinting. Ms. Boyle attests, “Highlighting deserving non-profits is a great way to give back to the
communities. It is nice to see a company that cares about their clients and is invested in how they help their communities.”
MOSTE is certainly grateful for the sponsorships from UPRinting.com but adds that the group also needs to increase their numbers. She says, “Interested people can find the mentor requirements on our website: http://moste.org/be_a_mentor.php or they can contact Renee Cartaya directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. “