A Mentoring Program for High School Girls of Color: Uncrowned Queens Institute Launches Virtual “Big-Sister Little-Sister Dialogues”

Uncrowned Queens Institute in Collaboration with the Buffalo Public Schools Launches Virtual “Big-Sister Little-Sister Dialogues” 

The Corona virus pandemic has had a major detrimental impact on our community, especially on the academic progress and health and wellness of our children.  Yet, thanks to the dedication of our educational professionals, parents, community leaders and students themselves, we have come together to ensure that our children receive the educational, social, emotional support and enrichment that will keep them grounded during this critical period.  To that end, the Uncrowned Queens Institute and the Buffalo School District continue to partner to offer mentoring to high school girls in our District.

The Big Sister/Little Sister Dialogues Mentoring Program was launched in October 2019. The program is based on evidence of the power of mentoring relationships as demonstrated by women of color’s long history of self-help movements, and of mentoring individually and collectively to uplift, educate and instill leadership skills woman to woman.  The idea of the Dialogues was drawn from this tradition and offers the opportunity to engage mentees in exploring their own cultural and historical examples of women mentoring each other.   

Forced to shut down in March, program organizers never gave up on bringing program participants back.  So, on November 5th, using a virtual platform, the program’s 20 Big Sisters welcomed back 20 returning and new Little Sisters. Our goal is to empower high school junior and senior girls of color by pairing them with supportive mentors, who will help their mentee: to identify and clarify her educational goals; provide networking opportunities with women from diverse professions, including education, business, community-based organizations and public service; support and help mentees define her aspirations for the future;  contribute to the expansion of her understanding of current issues; and enhance her soft skills.  The program will run through April 2021.

Barbara Seals Nevergold

The program is led by Dr. Barbara Seals Nevergold, Dr. Fatima Morrell, Associate Superintendent, Office of Culturally & Linguistically Responsive Initiatives, Ms. Nadia Nashir, Assistant Superintendent, Multilingual Education and Ms. Dalphne Bell, Director, Office of Culturally & Linguistically Responsive Initiatives.  

This program is supported by a grant from the Community Foundation of Greater Buffalo  

Submitted by Barbara A. Seals Nevergold, Cofounder

Uncrowned Queens Institute for Research & Education on Women, Inc.

Learn more about the organization on their website       You can also find them on Facebook