‘Because’ by The Magnolia Project: Volunteers of America

The Magnolia Project is a mentoring program for girls in grades 9 to 12 that started in Wilkes-Barre in July. We chose to have the Beer, Bacon n Bourbon Event  benefit the program, because hey, we really liked it and everything it stood for.

In this post, Magnolia staff members, Angeline Abraham, Melissa Langan and Shannon Doyne, would like to tell you the why of the program. Because it’s hard to get you in a room with them we’re betting, and then we’re betting you’ll think the same way we do after reading.


The Magnolia Project: Volunteers of America

Because the girls need to know that life after high school can be filled with diversity of options, people, and opportunities.

Because excellent young leaders could come from a pool of girls who might have otherwise been neglected.

Because we have the power to build community.

Because when you wish you could go back in time and reassure your high school self, you can instead volunteer with us.

Because Magnolia girls meet strong role models who give their time to encourage them, and in return, believe they will pay it forward when they can.

Because being involved in community service projects exemplifies servant leadership, and  when you help others, you help yourself.

Because all of us can change our lives.

Because when girls have a dream and a plan for the future, the everyday irritations of high school become a lot more bearable.

Because parents, teachers, and guidance counselors are overwhelmed some days, and each and every day there has to be someone to hear what a girl is saying, or NOT saying.

Because good communication skills are essential for success in life.

Because we are the legacy of the people who helped us through our own teen years.

Because we all need to hear that it’s okay not to have a straight path from point A to point B.  Sometimes it’s what we learn in between that makes us successful…real life happens in between your best laid plans.

Because not enough teens know about Ferris Bueller!

Because there is a need in today’s media blitz to let a girl know it’s okay to not conform to the stereotypical mold of what’s being put out there as beautiful or successful.

Because we can all be something greater.

Because good role models are hard to come by these days.

Because as Will Smith once rapped, sometimes “parents just don’t understand” and it takes a neutral third party to hear a girl’s story and help her find her way.

Because self confidence is not always innate.

Because our fifteen-year-old selves are still inside us, alive, well, and calling the shots.

Because parents are working two jobs.

Because the opportunity to find peace, not judgment and bullying, exists within Magnolia, but it’s on when they walk back out the doors to the real world.

Because coping strategies for handling stress are lacking in so many people.

Because nurturing the self esteem of girls today is a noble endeavor that also builds a strong future for everyone.

Because sometimes listening is the missing piece.

Because the timing of a single piece of advice can transform a life.

Because we are meant to share our stories.

Because we are stronger together.

Because networking can start early in life and lead to connections that will enable you forge a path with supportive adults on your side and opening doors for you.

Because having an outlet makes the difference.

Because adults need to explain how they got where they are now and how one’s personal drive to achieve whatever they believe in will get them there.

Because we came of age long before social media put everyone under a constant microscope.

Because getting fiercer is our mission.

Because their minds need to be expanded beyond their immediate circumstances.

Because being around peer role models, mentors, and community leaders can only lead to positive outcomes.

Because we didn’t suffer for our wisdom only to keep it to ourselves.

Because we nevertheless worry how other people will react to our admitting we have suffered and are wise.

Because Annie Potts was so kind to Molly Ringwald in “Pretty in Pink.”

Because no one needs to succumb to a life that just happens.

Because talking to someone without the fear that she’s going to zone out or start looking at her cellphone should be the norm.

Because having one more person on your side is a great thing.

Because school programs that foster creativity, collaboration and healthy ways to let off steam keep getting cut.

Because new opportunities come to light when the girls are exposed to strong community leaders.

Because every girls needs to hear, “You are special.  You have potential.  You can achieve your dreams if you are brave enough to dream them and put a plan into action, and I can help you with that.”

Because we give them the opportunity to meet leaders who may have similar stories.

Because why wait until college or the workforce for new experiences?

Because in every girl there is a woman, phenomenally. Phenomenal woman, that’s she.


– Angeline Abraham, Melissa Langan and Shannon Doyne