**Energizing Futures: Jhonna King and the Girls Inc. Experience**
Meet Jhonna King, an energetic and engaging Tennessee State University (and Hillsboro High School) graduate who recently began her third school year as a Girls Inc. Coordinator with YWCA Nashville & Middle Tennessee. Jhonna facilitates lessons and programming in Metro Nashville Public Schools and supervises and spearheads our train-the-trainer program. She’s also a peer coach extraordinaire and oversees forging new partnerships in the community to benefit Girls Inc.
Jhonna’s enthusiasm is contagious, and it’s not hard to see her favorite part of the job: programming in the schools and the joy of maintaining connections with the girls. She walks hand in hand with her passion for coaching, exemplified in her relationship with Girls Inc. Specialist, Doe.
Jhonna stumbled upon her calling while working at Alex Green Elementary School through a Center for Nonprofit Management job board posting. A recent college graduate in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, she pondered her purpose, which inevitably led her to a path of working with children and giving back through nonprofits.
Defying the conventional career choices of her family, who were predominantly educators, she found in Girls Inc. a perfect fit! Visiting various schools – elementary, middle, and high- across MNPS, Jhonna has a personal affinity with the students and staff. Her role as a trusted adult in the girls’ lives is a source of immense pride and inspiration.
“Girls Inc. programs are more than just lessons,” says Jhonna. “They are powerful tools for empowering girls and young women. One of her greatest joys is seeing – in real time – the change the Girls Inc. program has on our youth. During our most recent Summer Camp, a 12-year-old entered camp as a shy, quiet, insecure girl. By the end of the third week, she was out of her shell and performed a jump rope routine during the Showcase event wrapping up the camp! We were so proud!”
Jhonna’s infectious energy shines most when she works with high school students, fueling their transformations and personal growth. She strongly believes that Girls Inc. makes a substantial, positive impact on the girls’ lives, providing them with the skills to shape their future. During the last school year, Jhonna was in charge of the Chaput-Avery Leadership Scholars Program. She determined which girls were admitted to this prestigious, college prep program. By the end of the year, ten girls had submitted applications for the coveted $50,000 college scholarship. All of the girls stay in touch with Jhonna, ask her questions, and continue to learn from her.
In Jhonna’s world, Girls Inc. is not just a program; it’s about giving girls the wings to soar. She’s committed to helping them set and achieve their goals, while managing their expectations. She is not just making a difference; she’s a force of nature, fueling the dreams and aspirations of the girls in the Nashville community.