COLUMBUS, Ohio — Giving girls options and the tools to launch careers early is one way a Columbus organization is leaving a lasting impression.

What You Need To Know

  • Girl Empowerment, Inc. teaches girls ages 12 to 19 how to start their own business and manage business bank accounts 
  • They also learn about leadership, self-development and philanthropy through a 12-week entrepreneurship course

  • Girls in the program are paired with mentors from the business community 

  • For more information, click here to visit Girl Empowerment Inc.'s website.

Grace O’Grady, 16, is a part of the program.

“It's really important to me, know all the steps of intricate things that go into starting a business,” she said.

She's been selling crochet items to family and friends for the last several years but realized she wanted to do more. 

“My mom was going through cancer when I was about in the seventh grade . . . because she was going through chemo she ended up losing her hair. And so one thing that I started making for her was things like hats and scarves, which are still things that I like to sell to this day.”

Seeing what it did for her mom and how it brightened up some of her most challenging days, O'Grady said she sees this as a prime opportunity to impact others in the same way.

“I think crochet gives me a feeling like home. It's very comforting to me, it really warms my heart so that's a feeling that I want to share with other people.”

So, she's working with Girl Empowerment, Inc. to learn the ins and outs of entrepreneurship and philanthropy. With the help of workshops, project-based learning and mentors from the business community, O'Grady is well on her way.

Executive Director Charnetta Glenn said it’s also an avenue to steer young girls down the right path.

“A lot of times, girls will get caught up in certain circumstances and they’re just not sure how to get out of it. And so we want to be able to provide that vehicle for them so that they can understand that we’re here to support them, uplift them, inspire them,” she said.

For O’Grady, the goal now is to work on getting her business license and website designed.

She said she wants the proceeds from her business to go towards helping to fight breast cancer.

In the meantime, Girl Empowerment is looking forward to impacting the lives of more young girls. To learn more about their 12-week entrepreneurship course, click here.