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Woman empowering Florida's young women through mentorship program

Girls of the World Inc. offers a 'life-long mentorship' program that includes education, volunteering and networking opportunities.
Credit: Girls of the World Inc

APOLLO BEACH, Fla. — Time and compassion are resources that are paying off for dozens of young ladies. Lea Manningham is guiding young ladies to greatness by pushing them because she believes they deserve the world.

"I’ve been running this for 14 years,” Manningham said.

Manningham is CEO of Girls of the World Inc. She has offered tutoring to dozens and takes them on college tours. Just days ago, they visited Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

“The questions that they were asking, I’m like oh my goodness,” Manningham said. "I do sexual education with my girls."

Manningham became a mom at 16. “It was like I went from a child to an adult, instantly,” she said.

Manningham had support from her parents, coaches, and the community.

"It allowed me to be a mom. To continue my education. Get my high school diploma. Go to college. Go to trade school,” Manningham said.

She needs the ladies to see themselves thriving, so, she affirms.

"You're beautiful, no matter how thick your hair is; how curly or straight it is. How big or small, you're beautiful because that's how you were designed,” Manningham said. "I don't criticize them for anything they do wrong. I just correct or redirect. I tell them, I said, that none of us are perfect. We all are faced and challenged with different things."

Girls of the World needs your help. Manningham said they need donations for a travel van to make college visits easier. You can find a link to their website for ways to donate by clicking here.

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