Greetings, Butterfly Dreamz fam!
It's our pleasure to introduce you to Eva, Mary, Shenea, and Leslie! Together, they make up our inaugural cohort of Community Wellness Coaches, participating in our paid yearlong Community Health Worker (CHW) apprenticeship program.
In their role as Wellness Coaches, they co-facilitate group mentoring programs at our partner schools and provide one-on-one support to youth, including creating individualized care plans and helping students navigate and access health and education systems. This level of support is especially critical for our girls and young women who attend under-resourced public schools.
Why are Community Wellness Coaches needed?
Butterfly Dreamz envisions a world where all girls can live boldly, dream big, and fly high. Yet, the well-being of our girls, particularly our Black girls, is threatened by systemic inequities. Generational poverty, institutional racism, and sexism frequently result in adverse outcomes for girls and young women of color. For example, over 70% of girls in our Butterfly Dreamz communities report being frequently stressed out due to a variety of social challenges, including community violence, racism, chronic health conditions, lack of support, and financial struggles.
When our girls look for support, they often can’t find it because many public schools are significantly understaffed. The school counselor-to-student ratio in Indiana is 694 students to one school counselor. In New Jersey, there are 655 students to one school social worker.
How are we equipping our Community Wellness Coaches to support our girls and partner schools?
Upon successful completion of our rigorous (and fun!) CHW apprenticeship, our Community Wellness Coaches will receive a full-time or part-time employment offer from Butterfly Dreamz, Inc., earning a minimum of $30 an hour.
In addition to their hands-on CHW training, our Community Wellness Coaches complete approximately 230 hours of college-level classroom instruction and receive professional coaching and mentorship from our Butterfly Dreamz staff. Their CHW training is guided by the Butterfly Dreamz IMPACT Framework:
Are you interested in helping us?
Awesome! We need you. Our CHW apprenticeship and youth development programs are funded through the generosity of our donors and corporate sponsors. You can make a donation by visiting butterflydreamz.org/donate or check out our Organizational Overview for sponsorship opportunities.
If you follow us on social media, you may have also seen my latest PhD applications update video, where I share other ways you can help. If you missed it, take a few minutes to watch it now. :-)
As always, we're grateful for each of you! Thank you for being on this journey with us, and when you see our Community Wellness Coaches around Newark, New Jersey, and Gary, Indiana, be sure to welcome them to the Butterfly Dreamz family!
Much love & light,
Joy & Team
This blog is updated with love by the Butterfly Dreamz staff to keep you informed about our latest happenings.