SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (WXYZ) - A former Detroit educator is making it her business to help young girls gain the confidence it takes to take on the world.
Her name is Loretta Forbes and she's taken lessons she's learned as an educator and from her own experiences to offer life lessons.
"The Identity workshop basically talks to girls about their identity. We did it like tea so it's an Identi-Tea party and each month we talked about different topics. We talked about self-esteem. We talked about self-love, self-care, personal grooming.
All that over the course of five months. Young ladies from diverse backgrounds embrace what they have in common as well as what makes them each unique.
Alyana Wade-Williams says, "As a young girl, you can be influence by the media, what you see, all the trends and fashion statements and everything else and you can kind of mold into something that you're not."
It's the same message many of them get at home only here it seems to have much greater impact and it's because of the messenger.
Loretta says, "There are a lot of girls who I encounter who go through a period of low self-esteem in their teen and tween years. I was one of them."
With the help of family and friends, Loretta found her way but after college her job put her face to face with young women who seemed in danger of slipping through the cracks.
“I was working at a charter school at the time providing social work and they asked me to do an etiquette class for an after school program. I love doing etiquette. I also teach that on the side. So I said sure! Absolutely! But when I started working with this group of girls I realized, I could teach them all the etiquette in the world but if they don't believe that they are even capable of applying that or going to a nice restaurant or feeling comfortable in a pretty dress because they don't feel pretty, I'm doing them a disservice.”
Before long she found her calling and her company, Life Beyond The Norm was born.
CLICK HERE to learn more about Loretta Forbes and the work she does.