“I can do anything if I want to, they told me how to believe in myself and no matter what I can still do it,” said Elyse, a senior at Mooseheart High School.
The path to a brighter future for adolescent girls is what the Naperville based, Rhea of Hope Foundation, works to light up.
The founder, Dr. Alvenia Albright, was inspired to start her cause after traveling the world for work.
“On every continent I saw women who were distressed, in disadvantaged states of being,” said Albright. “And I also saw them not being allowed to get an education.”
Rhea of Hope helps local at-risk girls by taking them under its wing and giving them experiences they couldn’t have otherwise. That may mean going to a gospel choir, meeting athletes after a WNBA game, or seeing music duo Black Violin.
“I didn’t know about Black Violin, didn’t even know they existed until we went with Rhea of Hope and they were playing music and it was so unique,” said Jordan, a senior at Mooseheart High School.
They also provide mentoring sessions, meant to teach them life skills and connect the girls with professionals from careers they are interested in.
“We want them to understand anything you put yourself into you can achieve, but it takes hard work, it takes consistency, and you have to show up, you have to be there,” said Albright.
For young women who have already faced big challenges in their lives, Rhea of Hope teaches and inspires them to push themselves toward the future they imagine.
“You can’t just wait around thinking that it’ll happen, it’s only a dream then. You just have to push forward to get it right and be successful,” said Tatiana, a senior at Mooseheart High School.
Rhea of Hope is holding a fundraiser gala in Bolingbrook on October 8.
Naperville News 17’s Blane Erwin reports.