Space of Her Own (SOHO) is an arts-based program whose mission is to provide disadvantaged pre-teen girls with social, emotional, academic and creative enrichment through mentorship and visual arts instruction. The eight-year-old program aims to reach girls in local communities and prevent juvenile criminal involvement. The program has two locations—one in Old Town and one in the West End (at Hammond Middle School).
Volunteer mentors make a one-year commitment to SOHO, offering the girls guidance, support, and friendship. The girls and mentors meet weekly to share a healthy dinner and create art projects. Each week, the girls also engage in life skills classes, where they learn about healthy lifestyle habits, communication, and social skills. The girls and their mentors learn artistic concepts and techniques and use these to create artwork for their bedrooms. The program is set in an intimate setting with only a dozen mentee and mentor pairs, which helps to foster lasting, supportive relationships. As the mentors give the girls the guidance they need to succeed, the mentees provide the women with a sense of purpose. They enrich one another’s lives.
At the end of the school year, each girl receives a bedroom makeover with the help of her mentor. The room is designed using the girls’ own art projects, creating a true space of her own. The goal of the room transformation is to provide each girl with an inspiring space to encourage her to excel in school and create a better life for herself.
The ultimate goal of SOHO is to promote lifelong bonds, empower disadvantaged girls to design better futures for themselves and fulfill their true potential. Each girl is given a place to grow, to make lasting friendships and to create a space of her own.
If you are interested in learning more about SOHO, you can visit the website; if you are interested in learning more about becoming a mentor, you can attend one of three upcoming orientation sessions (June 27, July 28, or August 9). Sign up here