Minneapolis woman mentors dozens of Black girls as they ready for college

Shamaria Jordan started Black Girl Advocate in 2020, with the goal of helping Black women turn their dreams into goals and their goals into achievements.

"My goal is to change the lives of Black girls in the Twin Cities," Shamaria said. Her program offers young students valuable advice on higher education… in a push to help close Minnesota’s education gaps.

"It made me think a lot about what I want to do in my future," Minneapolis North junior Ionna Johnson said.

Black Girl Advocate has helped Johnson realize she wants to be a youth therapist. Now, this spring she’ll be part of a group of 12 girls the non-profit sends on a trip touring colleges in the Washington, D.C. area: "We’re going to go to Georgetown, Howard, Coppin, Morgan State," Shamaria explained.

Last year, Black Girl Advocate sent another group of prospective students to Tennessee; where they stopped at Vanderbilt University, Tennessee State and American Baptist College.

But maybe worth even more than the trip, Shamaria is offering the girls a new-found focus. Jordan has guided them through the college application process’s Jan. 1st deadline, connected them with insightful mentors, helped them find scholarships, and primed them to make the most informed financial decisions possible.

"She actually paid for us to take the ACT test," Ionna added.

"My biggest thing is paying for the girls, because growing up there was a lot of financial burden on my own family, to where I was not able to experience things," Shamaria said. "And so my heart is to be able to cover the financial burden."

To make that happen, Shamaria has relied on donations and grants, while also selling Black Girl Advocate sweatshirts.