SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - While many have been home to stay separate from people, Dawn Baker went to her home to be closer to the community - her community.
“Honestly, I’m so glad we did it because just think about it, these young ladies have been stuck at home since March with school. And just hopefully, we can put something in front of them that they haven’t seen before,” said Dawn Baker, WTOC anchor and Dawn’s Daughter Founder.
And to do that, Dawn put herself in front of a computer, taking her Dawn’s Daughter Leadership Academy, that is the highlight of summer for so many high school aged girls in our area, online.
Dawn and her mother Lula are leading the mentoring sessions from home, on Zoom, with help from guest speakers, members of the local business community.
“And help draw a path out for you from where you are now to where you’re going.”
And special guests.
“We are doing our best to pull everyone into the conversation and make sure everyone gets what they’re supposed to get out of the situation.”
“Don’t settle for the status quo. You’re better than that.”
In many ways working remotely is very different for a program that builds relationships along with confidence.
“As a teacher for 34 years in the classroom, I’m used to being able to walk around, get with the students and really get to know them on a more intimate level,” said Lula Baker, Dawn’smother and Dawn’s Daughter Co-Founder.
“For me, the joy of the year was always being with the girls and getting a chance to talk to them and know them,” said Dawn.
But in the most important way, Dawn is delivering the same guidance, leadership and structure to this group of daughters that she has brought to young ladies every summer.
Maybe even more so.
“We’re talking about self esteem and self confidence, of course, but making choices. We’ve talked about the pandemic, we’ve talked about the protests and the riots that have gone on. We’ve also talked about domestic violence because unfortunately, that’s been a part of the pandemic because everyone’s been locked together. So, I’m hoping we give them the tools to continue throughout their lives, to not only make it through the pandemic to some sort of normal life again, but to make it throughout their careers to become effective leaders throughout their communities, their churches, their schools, their careers. So, that’s what we’re trying to do. We still have our same mission, we’re just doing it a lot differently this year.”
Seventy-eight young ladies registered for this year’s virtual Leadership Academy.