Team DM is dedicated to strengthening the mental well-being of young ladies of color as they transition through their adolescent years into womanhood. We are aware that a positive mindset is beneficial to healthy growth and development, and aim to assist our girls in fighting against the negative effects of peer pressure, teen depression, societal stereotypes and other challenging experiences. Through our innovative approaches and support system, we instill the importance of individuality, creativity, self-love and sisterhood.
Gloria Dotson-Lewis | Founder & Executive Director
As a young girl growing up in Chicago, Gloria faced many challenges in her adolescent years which caused her to question her self-worth. Not being one to voice her feelings or thoughts, she found solace in writing as a way to express herself. She knew early on she would choose a career path that would help girls like herself avoid the pitfalls of peer pressure, low self- esteem, teen pregnancy and risky behaviors that often lead to serious consequences. Fourteen years ago, she started mentoring a small group of girls in her basement which provided a safe space for them to have dialogue about relevant issues they were facing in their everyday lives. It would be the start of her journey towards creating solutions that would help girls of color navigate their challenging adolescent years and transitioning into self-confident leaders.
While working in the healthcare field for numerous years, Gloria’s passion for youth never wavered. She wanted to acquire a better understanding of what girls of color faced during those keys years and how their environment played a part in their mental well-being and decision making. She noticed there was much effort towards research and programs for African American boys but very little for African American girls. She would return to school to obtain both her Bachelors and Masters degrees in the field of Social Work from Governors State University and soon after acquire her social work licensure. Gloria would go on to work with under-served youth within the school system, mental health setting and through volunteer services.
Gloria's passion for helping youth would also lead her to write two young adult, fiction books titled Ninety-Nine Problems and You Got Me Twisted and co-author an HIV anthology titled The Shattered Glass Effect. In her books, she tackles difficult topics such as domestic violence, teen pregnancy, grief, and sexually transmitted diseases, in hopes of both educating while entertaining her teenage readers. She believes we can either stand on the sidelines and complain about our youth or be part of the solution to help them succeed.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Lisa Green | President
Darnella Tinnel-Crawford | Treasurer
Lushanda Lloyd I Secretary
Porshay Lloyd I Teen Facilitator/Program Coordinator
Board Membership Opportunities
Distinctively Me welcomes new committed and enthusiastic board members who believe in our mission. If you are interested in contributing your time and talent to help empower, support, and inspire our girls, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.