NEW ORLEANS-- There's a non-profit organization that's working hard to shape the lives of young African-American New Orleans girls. The Orchid Society is helping these girls grow into great women.
The Orchid Society doesn't have anything to do with gardening, but it does deal with growing.
"An orchid is our symbol because it resembles luxury, strength, and beauty," President & Founder of The Orchid Society, Ariel Wilson said.
The Orchid Society is a non-profit mentorship organization. Principals, school counselors and parents recommend the girls for this program. Currently there are 13 girls, and 15 mentors. It is a one-on-one mentorship organization. The mentors help the girls all the way through their high school graduation, and they help them plan for their future whether it be college, a vocational school, or another career path after high school.
"The Orchid Society consists of professional black women who mentor young girls between the ages of 12 and 16. The demographic we serve are those from low income families or traumatic environments," Wilson said.
In addition to mentoring, the girls get to experience vacations to Jamaica, museum trips, and even meet rapper Snoop Dogg.
"We just want to give them the world and show them that the world is their oyster," she said.
They call these girls, "orchid buds" because they are in the process of blooming. Genisus Hammond has been an "orchid bud" since she was in 6th grade. She's now a sophomore at Walter L. Cohen Prep in New Orleans.
Genisus said, "Because of our mentors experience I can ask them about things they went through, and I can talk to them about their experiences. They are people that I can relate with."
"The Little Orchid Society is all about connection, exposure, and making sure they know that there's infinite possibilities no matter the color of their skin," Wilson said.
During this year's Essence Fest, Walmart gave The Orchid Society a surprise donation of $10,000 because Walmart was so impressed with the work they do. They do take donations all year long, if you'd like to help out.
For more information about The Orchid Society, click HERE.
The Orchid Society will be having their annual fundraiser on January 12, 2019 called, "Orchid Honors," where they will be honoring African-American women in the community.