MIAMI — Tracy Wilson Mourning wants to get young professionals involved in mentoring young girls.
The wife of retired Miami Heat star Alonzo Mourning and founder of the Honey Shine Mentoring Program held an exclusive recruitment event on April 2.
There, she sought to encourage under-30 professional leaders to get involved.
“So many people want to do something,’’ Mourning passionately told a group of more than 50 young professionals at Angelo and Maxie’s at the Mayfair Hotel and Spa in Coconut Grove. “We all want to make a difference and give back in some way, shape or form, but we never know how or never feel that there are opportunities out there.”
It was the first time that Mourning specifically recruited young professionals.
“I know there are a lot of young men and women who really feel deep inside that they want to do something some way or some how,” Mourning added, “Tonight, I’m happy to say the response from everyone here is a lot of enthusiasm.”
In 2002, Mourning founded the Honey Shine Mentoring Program, branching off from the Alonzo Mourning Charities. She sought to encourage the minds, bodies and souls of girls and women living in economically and socially challenged environments.
Mourning seeks to provide positive experiences that empower young women ages eight to 18 for their futures.
There are currently 160 young girls in the program, all residents of Miami-Dade County.
There are currently 150 volunteers, and 20 joined at the recruiting event.
Affectionately referred to as Honey Bugs, these young ladies join the program to gain knowledge, responsibility, community and faith through group mentoring, journaling and workshops.
“I feel like our young girls can’t make the same mistakes and same decisions that we made in the past. Life just doesn’t give them that freedom. What Honey Shine is about is encouraging them to shine as women,” Mourning told the South Florida Times.
The mentors of the program are known as “Lady Bugs.”
Sudi Freeman-Elliott, one of the young professionals who attended the recruiting event, said she was very eager to learn more about the Honey Shine Mentoring Program and become a “Lady Bug” herself.
Freeman-Elliott said she was not only inspired to join, but was also happy to get firsthand knowledge of Honey Shine’s mission and vision – directly from the founder.
“My main reason for going was to explore being a volunteer and being a mentor to work directly with the girls,” Freeman-Elliott told the South Florida Times, “Before, I never had the time to do much. But I got the time now… so why not give back?”
THE MORE YOU KNOW
To learn more about The Honey Shine Mentoring Program, go to www.honeyshine.org
Photo by Khary Bruyning. Tracy Wilson Mourning