A young black woman smiles at the camera. She is wearing a black shirt and gold necklace.Cyncere started at Girls Inc. as a second-grader. Now, she’s in college navigating life as an independent young woman. Girls Inc. made that possible. 

Cyncere’s involvement with Girls Inc. Indy began as a second-grader in summer camp and continued through high school when she joined the Young Women in Leadership (YWIL) program.  YWIL prepares high school girls for the workforce, post-secondary education, and leadership in their communities. Cyncere participated in YWIL for four years and subsequently worked at summer camp as a Junior Girl Engagement Specialist, leading young campers by serving as a role model.

Now a freshman at Kentucky State University, Cyncere is majoring in Psychology and Child Development, with a minor in African-American Studies. While she admits to missing her mom and making do with many video calls, Cyncere’s first semester as a college student is going well. She is making new friends and developing professional relationships with her professors. When she looks back on her high school experience, Cyncere wishes she had learned to balance school with a social life; instead, she just focused on being a good student. In college, she navigated how to thrive both academically and socially, while practicing self-care.  

Cyncere credits Girls Inc. with helping to provide her with the skills needed to succeed on her own. In YWIL, she learned to manage her finances, support her mental health, find the right college, and present herself professionally when searching for jobs.  “Without Girls Inc., I would probably be lost,” said Cyncere. “They taught me how to be myself and love myself. They are my family and my mentors all in one.”