As schools are closed around the nation, and the world is being encouraged to practice social distancing in the wake of COVID-19, many youth organizations are being tasked to find innovative ways to keep youth engaged. On March 17, the Outstanding Mature Girlz (OMG) Organizations launched its first virtual OMG Club Meeting. These face-to-face meetings which were previously held in-school and out-of-school, with community service projects on the weekends have now found an innovative way to maximize their “Digital Footprint,” while still making “Social Change.”
“It’s amazing how this moment has come full circle,” said SU Ag Center’s Assistant Area Agent, Nicolette Gordon. “Previously, during our quarterly advisory meetings community stakeholders discussed ways to engage our youth groups through technology before this pandemic was even a thought,” she said.
In December of 2019, the Outstanding Mature Girlz Organization was awarded the Cox Charities Grant for $2,000 to use for OMG emPOWERed. This grant, which is solely funded by Cox Communications employees, is intended to help keep all OMG Club members in South Louisiana connected.
“We’ve launched our OMG emPOWERed Sessions virtually online, and we are still keeping our young ladies motivated, encouraged, and ready to take over the world,” said OMG Organization’s founder Sashika Baunchand. “We want them to bloom right where they are planted.”
Nearly 25 girls have joined in virtually through Blackboard every Tuesday, at 7 p.m. to practice leadership skills through the use of Parliamentary Procedure, and discuss monthly iValues such as Choice and Accountability. Moving forward Baunchaund stated that the organization will do everything that needs to be done to ensure that all club members remain safe throughout the duration of the COVID-19 Pandemic. She also said she is very thankful for the many parents that have worked behind the scene to make the OMG emPOWERed launch successfully.