• Local charity working with young women to build confidence, achieve goals

    By: Kerry Kavanaugh

    Updated:

    Sometimes the simplest things have the biggest impacts. A new dress for the holidays is often out of reach for many girls, but a local charity is working to empower young girls by giving them new dresses. But this isn't just a giveaway, this charity asks the girls to set and achieve personal goals.  

    Sam Sisakhti is the founder and director of 'Believe in Yourself,' the non-profit provides dresses - unworn with tags - to low-income students. 

    "Anything that alleviates that financial pressure on some of the families and provides them something nice to wear I think goes a long way," Sisakhti says. "We actually partner with Boys and Girls Clubs, low income housing centers, after school programs in low income areas and actually have them compile a list of kids for me."

    Fifteen girls came to the Roxbury Boys and Girls Club to "shop" for a new holiday outfit. 

    "It honestly felt as if we went to the mall together," said eighth grader Emily Gonzalez De Los Santos. 

    But it's more than a giveaway, there's an incentive-based component to this charity. 

    "So I thought, hey it would be cool if we had all these kids set goals and if they achieve them, then we'll provide them even more dresses," Sisakhti said.

    "You write down your name, where you're from and your goal: your short and long term goal," said Nia Simpson, a 12th grader. "My goal was to get into a four-year college of my choice, and major in both marketing and entrepreneurship."

    All the agencies help monitor the girls' progress toward their goals. 

    "I feel really classy, I guess. I really like this dress and it boosts my confidence," said Autumn Mendonca, an eighth grader. 

    It's not just about looking good, but feeling good and giving these girls confidence to fulfill their dreams. 

    "There's a lot of women and girls in this world that don't have that much confidence and for him to come in and help us build up our confidence was amazing," Simpson said. 

    "It means that some people out there actually care about us," said ninth grader Madison Howard.

    To learn more about Believe in Boston, click here

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