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The inside Scoop from Certified Facilitator Mentors

Southern Maryland Women's Magazine Interview

January is National Mentoring Month, so we took the time to meet the women who mentor teen girls. They are each using the Gals Lead Curriculum and are supported through the Dream Queen Foundation.

The Dream Queen Foundation was created to serve women and girls in a safe place to support one another and celebrate their dreams. Their programs and events offer opportunities to align girls’ careers with passion and purpose; embrace authenticity and transparency in positions of power and influence; and replace greed and corruption with heart and soul.

We had the opportunity to meet with Tatonya Holman (TH), Dee Scott (DS) , Maryanna Lanham (ML), Beth Graeme (BG), Maria Thorpe (MT), & Kim Bannister (KB) to get more insight on the program and what it means to be a mentor.

  1. Why did you decide you wanted to become a Gals Lead Facilitator?

DS: I saw a need in young ladies and wanted to be a part of the solution. I attended a similar program as a teenager and valued the impact it had on my life as a young adult.

KB: Passionate about helping others and mentoring teen girls to assist them in navigating the many challenges they have and will continue to face.

BG: I’d been a member of the association for a long time, and it had a big impact on me and my business. I knew that impact may help someone else.

MT: I wanted to give back to my local community and prepare the young ladies for opportunities and future possibilities relating to dreams they have for their future.


  1. Which activity is your favorite to do with the teen girls?

TH, MT, BG, & KB: Sister Circle. (We will have to learn more about this activity in a future article)

DS: One of my favorite activities is the development of the Vision Board. Helping them to set goals and write them down is part of helping them to take action.

ML: I enjoy the open conversations on topics that are exciting to them. I love seeing each of them change their points of view and learn to empathize with one another.


  1. If someone wanted to become a facilitator, what advice would you give them before they get started?

TH: Get certified, and make sure you share your authentic self. It is so important for the girls to see truly who you are

KB: Patience and communication is key. Listening is equally important

MT: Come prepared to listen and have an open heart to discuss life challenges through the eyes of a young woman


  1. Do you have a personal style in facilitating? How do you get the girls to open-up?

TH: Very interactive. Ask follow-up questions and if you ask the right questions, you will be able to have them open up

ML: I try to create a relaxing laid-back atmosphere to encourage sharing.

KB: Ask questions and follow up questions

BG: I ask open ended questions and if no response, I like to share personal real stories to help guide the thought process.

MT: I have an open communication style. I use opened ended questions to engage the young ladies and I also share my experiences. This helps them to feel open to share their thoughts.


  1. Can you tell us about a specific girl in your club that you feel you and the program had a major effect on their life?

TH: Heather entered the Club with a yearning to learn and because of her excitement she shared with her friends who also joined the Club. She became our teen Ambassador.

DS: I met the mother of one of the young ladies. The mom shared how the club helped her daughter and the positive impact I had on her life.

ML: We had a girl in our group that was soft spoken and had very little confidence. I enjoyed watching her become her own person and feel confident in herself

BG: Yes, my daughter. My daughter struggled with bullies and a debilitating disorder. She was depressed. I watched her blossom in confidence and her overall happiness increased significantly.


  1. How do you feel being a facilitator has changed your life?

DS: Positively: providing a platform and audience that I can pour into. The personal sense of helping young ladies to develop confidence in themselves, recognize their leadership potential, and overcome challenges is my way of giving back.

ML: It helped me step up my personal game. I feel that if I am going to hold them to standards and positivity, I must do those things for myself.

KB: More patient, listen to understand more

MT: My life has changed for the positive, being able to assist future generations can only have a positive impact on the participants and the communities they live and thrive.

The Gals Lead Teen Mentorship Program is growing, and the organization is seeking mentors. If you are interested email Maryanna@dreamqueenfoundation.org. Kudos to all the women in Gals Lead and to every mentor in the community. You are truly making a difference in the lives of those you serve.


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