SISTAWorks logo
March 2016
Vol. 007
Greetings!
We are a few months into 2016 and are looking out to all we intend to accomplish by year end at SISTAWorks. This year, we will focus on solidifying our core operation as we have grown organically to be quite an organization. We will be enriching our programming in order to foster more connection between girls in our home city, New Orleans, with girls in Ghana to create a broader learning palette for empowering young women.
SISTA Partners: Inspiring Our Mission
In 2011, Sasha Matthews and Michelle Blue traveled to Ghana and were inspired by a former BaBa Blankets' workshop. The visit unlocked a similar desire to empower girls and women, so the sisters returned and created a unique line of fashion scarves under the name Bené. Using colorful and attractive African prints, Bené creates accessories and uses the profit to lift up women and girls. They sponsored five SISTA Scholars who will be graduating this year, plus three additional students who graduate in 2017. In May, Sasha and Michelle will take a SISTAWorks journey to congratulate the SISTA scholars in person. Bené and SISTAWorks have inspired each other to collaborate and empower girls to get the education they deserve. We are proud of the work they do, and for supporting the work that we do.
Sasha and Michelle are true SISTA Partners.
HOME PARTNERS: Fulfilling Our Vision
Students from 2015 Young Muses Camp
This year in our hometown, we are launching a girls' clinic using the language of music to empower high school students. The program will provide a platform to help underserved New Orleans girls explore self-discovery, self-expression, and self-acceptance through musical creativity. SISTAWorks, in partnership with Musicollaborative, will be embarking on a 13-15 week free program for New Orleans students from the ages of 12 to 17 years old in fall 2016.
 
Over the coming months, SISTAWorks will be identifying one to two high schools with students who would benefit from this musical exploration. The students will be exposed to basic songwriting techniques, drum repertoire, and original spoken word pieces to reflect on their own unique experiences. Students will also learn fundamental media literacy to evaluate popular music media images of women.
 
During the clinic, SISTAWorks will bring together the SISTA scholars in Ghana with the music clinic students in New Orleans to create a cultural exchange grounded in empowerment experiences for them all. The cross dialogue will offer the girls the ability to learn from each other and to make relationships and connections outside of their immediate communities.

SISTA PRIDE: A Sisterhood is Born
Currently, there are 91 SISTA Scholars enrolled in Ghana and stirring inside them all is a growing sense of pride in their accomplishments. In recognition of SISTAWorks and their SISTA-hood, the students recently used their own funds to design and create tee shirts celebrating their community. This community is enabling older students to provide mentorship to the younger students, and together they are rooting for each other's success. The SISTA scholars are an inspiration to all of us. They have also coined a motto for their SISTA-hood: "Liberation of the girl child through academic excellence."

Forgoing Our Benefit Concert for Program Enrichment
SISTAWorks will hold its fourth benefit concert in fall 2017 while we focus this year on core program enrichment. In lieu of a fall concert this year, we will be traveling to Ghana in the second half of the year to assess the needs of the nearly 100 girls who are in school. We will hold empowerment workshops with the students and also identify potential partners in Ghana for our ongoing programs. The annual fundraiser in New Orleans is a cornerstone of both our fundraising and outreach in our community and throughout the United States; we will miss hosting it this year. However, we look forward instead to tightening up the nuts and bolts of our organization, fine-tuning programs abroad while launching new programs stateside that will enhance our efforts to lift high school girls up where they belong.
Get Involved with a SISTA Scholar Today
To date, we have had 173 SISTA Scholars attend either Bolgatanga or Zuarungu Secondary School. Eighty-two of the students have graduated and some have gone on to post secondary degree work. SISTA Scholars lack only funds to go to high school, because they are highly motivated and engaged learners. The cost of educational sponsorship is $300 per year and is funded by individuals like you, whose donation helps pay for tuition/fees, school supplies, uniforms, ongoing local support programs, as well as extra classes that are offered throughout the school year. Please consider being a Sponsor and helping these young girls have the opportunity to develop into the bright young women they are destined to become.
 
Visit our website SISTAworks.org to learn more and sign-up to sponsor a student. Feel free to call our office at 504-301-4800 to discuss sponsorship.   

SISTAWorks is a small and dynamic organization and there are many opportunities for you to get involved. We have ongoing administrative tasks and our annual fundraiser, as well as a myriad of tasks that are involved with running a small nonprofit. Our volunteers have made it possible to support over 173 young SISTA scholars in Ghana since its inception.
 
Please consider becoming a volunteer of SISTAWorks today and know that your contribution will have a direct impact on our scholars and their communities for years to come. Email: info@SISTAworks.org

Sincerely,
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E. Aminata Brown
Founder/Executive Director

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