Friday, July 13, 2012

Interview with Melinda Crown, Founder of Girls In Power

About Melinda Crown

Melinda Crown, founder of GIP Foundation Inc., is a single mother of three daughters who recognizes the need for loving, taking care of, and raising children. Melinda has been an active leader in her community throughout the years. She has served in various capacities of school parent associations, the County of Los Angeles Child Care Planning Committee, CSUN Northridge Crisis Hot Line, Rotary International, and has been of assistance to several non-profit organizations.

Although Melinda was raised in a middle class home and well provided for with physical necessities, Melinda’s childhood was devoid of love, support and guidance. She often had to advocate for herself which at times lead her to tread into dangerous waters. A deep desire was born in her through these hard life experiences: a desire to help, intervene and advocate for the disadvantaged and at-risk youth. After a long journey of self discovery, Melinda contemplated during the summer of 2010 her next step. The Girls in Power (program), a workshop series based curriculum was developed to empower teens and build thoughtful, purpose-driven girls by providing them a road map for success.

The GIP Foundation Inc. was formed in January 2012, and the GIP program launched a partnership with the Conejo Valley YMCA. Melinda worked during this time to create a team with aligning visions that would help blossom her organization. The GIP Team of volunteers has grown from 1 to almost 40. GIP non-paid staff hit the ground running February 28th launching its first workshop series. Twelve girls ages 13-15 were guided through the program's four workshops: Young Artists, Health Approach, Purpose-Driven, and Food for Thought each week. A positive community response was received at all ends toward the program and June 4 marked the 1st Graduates of the GIP “Program.”

Melinda has been operating as CEO of her company, Purpose Empowered Partnering (P.E.P.), a Los Angeles based marketing and consulting service to local and national businesses. P.E.P. serves on a per hire basis offering clients a comprehensive set of innovative and custom marketing options including lead generation, list building, sales funnel creation, marketing, and website design services. P.E.P. also provides assistance in utilizing social media platforms to increase brand awareness and add business value to all designed direct-to-customer marketing campaigns through list building and prospect acquisition. PEP’s most recent initiative is a Marketing Campaign to help local businesses which includes a 60 second fully produced radio commercial and permission based email and direct mail marketing within a 5 Mile Radius of their business location. To help fund GIP please visit P.E.P services at www.PEPLosAngeles.com and 15% of profits are donated to the GIP fund.

Melinda has an athletic background in dance as she has been previously involved in many competitions. Her newest athletic focus is learning the art of boxing as she has hopes to one day participate in an amateur boxing match. She loves to set new goals, expand her experience and knowledge base; always striving to be a consistent leader, mentor and supporter for her children, family and community.

(Melinda Crown, Right)


Interview with Melinda Crown


1. What is Girls in Power and when was it established?

The Girls in Power (program), a workshop series based curriculum was developed by Melinda Crown to empower teens and build thoughtful, purpose-driven girls by providing them a road map for success.

Girls in Power is an organization I established in 2010 that is dedicated to uplifting, inspiring and empowering young girls in a world that isn’t always so easy. It is an organization that seeks to help young girls blossom into the independent, resilient beings that they are. One by one, we work to build strong minds, hearts, and values through a weekly workshop curriculum that delves into four essential areas: Arts, Health, Purpose, & Fellowship. We take girls on a unique maturing path to become self sufficient, mindful contributors of our society.

We do this by ensuring our programs are integrated with our cornerstone principles of self-reflection and self-awareness, self-management (coping skills),purpose and intention in all they do, so each girl will be empowered to apply to their life and achieve success.


2. How did you come up with the idea for starting GIP?

In 2010 I embarked on a personal journey that led to my own self-discovery. I learned through my own life’s trials and tribulations that it is most important to have your own identity and feel value; feelings of a strong foundation are critical to success and being able to be a positive impacting force in this world. Independence and self-sufficiency are imperative qualities I feel these can be developed at an early age. GIP’s curriculum has been written with these qualities in mind. I wrote this curriculum with my love and soul that stem from my own life experiences with desire to create a loving and safe environment for each girl to learn and grow. Each tool integrated in the program and taught is something I was taught and practiced in order to build positive copying strategies in my life to reach success.

This is my way of giving back to the community. My desire is to provide young girls the gift of awareness, being present, having compassion and empathy by using the knowledge and to feel empowered; all of which I wish I had early on. I want to give the gift of feeling worthy, value; confidence to conquer and believe in oneself… the ability to be self-sufficient and give back to others will help our world be sustainable through the next generation of leaders.


3. What has been the greatest difficulty in getting the charity started?

I have been so blessed to have such instrumental people in this organization that have allowed us to grow and expand to what we have become today. GIP’s curriculum and mission is one that has struck a chord for many in the community and I feel so lucky to have them on board.

If I could have one wish for this organization, it would be to get rid of our greatest difficulty ….of having the funding. More workshops are planned and we have opportunities for youth to be sponsored to attend a GIP workshop series for free as well donors can provide funds to help with costs of workshop supplies, food and printing and marketing needs.
Funding for organizations will allow GIP to provide more workshops, more often to more youth. GIP has a grand future ahead with many positive and valuable assets for bettering humanity, serving youth who will be our future generation leaders. We need your help.


4. Where do you see this program going in the future?

I see great things happening for us in the future. I am currently working on creating curriculums that will work to expand our age demographic for girls. Ages 8-11 will begin July 9th run for 8 weeks this summer; ending August 27th. Monday’s at the Conejo Valley YMCA. We are working on a boy’s curriculum – “Gents in Power” and hope to begin in the Fall of 2012. Additionally, we are working on a workshop partnership with www.ShawlDawls.com and plan on a special workshop series to begin in Pasadena January 2013. I would like to eventually expand this program to multiple age groups in different areas.
GIP has an iPhone app and licensing opportunities planned for the future. Curriculums and GIP Tool bags will be available online.


5. What kind of collaborators/partners/volunteers are you currently looking for to help the charity?

Right now we are open to meet with business and individuals as well as organizations that are helping youth and women. Business, which are aligned with our mission and visions and individuals who have passions or skill sets which fall into one of our categories; arts, health & wellness, purpose/intention and community/fellowship.
We would like to align and participate with other locations to serve more youth.

To get in contact with us and learn about ways you can get involved, please contact us at Melinda@girlsinpower.org visit our website at www.girlsinpower.org.


6. What type of donations are you looking for in order to support GIP?

Funding provides workshops, the supplies for workshops, materials needed for our workshop series and events, support for printing, insurance and business needs as well as continued expansion of our program to serve different areas and provide to a wider demographic. Any type of monetary donation will go to these needs and is greatly appreciated. We offer tax deductible write off through our 501 c 3 GIP Foundation, Inc.

Individual donors can sponsor a child or youth for our program. Tees who are 16 years old can join our volunteer training program. Women and Men can donate time to teach and volunteer or mentor to our youth. An application process exists.


7. Where is GIP currently holding programs?

GIP is currently holding programs through the Conejo Valley YMCA located off of Moorpark Road. An eight-week workshop series for girls ages 8-11 will be launching July 9th and runs till August 27th. We will open up more programs September 2012 to run till December 2012 in the Westlake Village area, Malibu, San Fernando Valley.


8. How can parents enroll their children and what are the qualifications?

Enrollment forms can be found on the homepage of our website at www.girlsinpower.org. We are currently accepting young girls/tweens applications for our summer program between the ages of 8 and 11 who want to learn and build new skills, make new friends, and be involved in workshops surrounding arts and health. Our programs launching in the fall will be in the 12 to 16 age range and applications are being accepted for that time frame as well for boys and girls.


9. Do you have any upcoming events that you are going to be involved in?

July 28, 2012
Post BreakUp WakeUp Workshop - Westlake Village - Designated
Charity is Girls in Power

July 21, 2012
Events.LoveYourEvolution.com benefitting the GIP foundation Inc and other youth programs

Launch of PEP www.peplosangeles.com initiatives to help fund GIP Residential home by providing 15 % gross profits to fund GIP programs. Please check web site out and see services which Melinda Crown and David Domm are offering to benefit local business and GIP.


More Info: www.girlsinpower.org




About Author: Daniella Robinson

Daniella Robinson is the founder of Kurasu Models and Events. In her spare time she is a freelance writer, as well as a philanthropist who is involved with various charities and foundations.

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