Girls Go Build, a Delray Beach nonprofit, is breaking down gender barriers for girls by teaching them they can be anything, That includes the typically male-dominated field of construction.
8th grader Tanisha Paulemon is one of the program participants who is learning you don’t have to look far for a role model.
“We need more black people to empower other people to do stuff too,” says Paulemon.
On this day in particular, the role model was in a plumbing class, courtesy of the Milagro Center and the city of Delray Beach
According to the National Association of Women in Construction, only about 9% of the field is made up of women.
Tanesha says she’s used to beating the odds though, in part thanks to staff at the Milagros Center helping underserved children and youth.
“Without Milagro I think I wouldn’t be here today because they taught me a lot and that... I’m sorry. I want to say thank you to Ms Kelsey because she helped me through everything,” explains Tanesha.
Girls Go Build Program Director, Kelsy Timot says the bond between her and the girls is real
“Every day I treat them as my own. You kinda get a connection with them and they kinda become yours. We tell them reach for the stars so they’re never limited to what they can do,” says Timot.
The small lessons leave a big impact on these girls who have a special message to other girls worried about what they can achieve, no matter the career path.
According to Tanesha, “I’d tell them to do their best and like block all the haters because You don’t need no negativity in your life.”