Lake Charles’ Girlie Girls Mentoring Program opens new facility

Published: Jun. 2, 2023 at 10:04 PM CDT
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Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - A Lake Charles woman is hoping to impact the lives of young girls and women.

“Who feel that they’re not pretty enough, who feel like they don’t fit in, this is for them,” Anita Barker said.

For the 10th anniversary of the Girlie Girls Mentoring Program, doors to CEO and founder Anita Barker’s next endeavor opened.

“It’s kind of a home away from home,” Barker said. “Somewhere they can come and feel comfortable and express themselves, and be who God created them to be.”

Thanks to donors and an agreement with the city of Lake Charles, the “Girls Rock” facility on Common Street will house the free mentorship-style program for young girls and women.

“This facility will offer an afterschool program, STEM workshops, free tutoring, summer camps,” Barker said. “We have girl talk, which is one of my favorites. Girls will come in, and we will chit-chat about the latest happenings, and what’s going on at school.”

“Sometimes young women are not as thought about as much as young men in the need for mentorship, and our young women in this community need just as much attention as and just as much mentorship as our young men do,” Mayor Nic Hunter said.

Barker said the program is a first of its kind in the area. The program previously operated out of churches, libraries and other temporary facilities. Barker said they can expand on the programs they have to offer with the new facility.

“It is truly amazing, and I can say today that my vision is now a reality,” Barker said.

There are two programs: girls age 8 to 11 and teens age 12 to 18. For more information about the program and registration, click here.