We all have the ability to be perfect, perfectly us, in a way no one else quite can. Very few of us claim the perfection in ourselves. In fact, just the opposite, we spend our energy worrying about what we cannot be instead of harnessing the power of what we can. There’s no denying that girls with a strong sense of self achieve more in life. But, with the pervasive power of 24/7 media, social media, and peer pressure, it’s easy for girls give up their sense of identity, chasing the flash at the expense of the substance.  GirlPower is a course designed to keep that from happening.  With the aim to empower elementary and middle school girls, this course teaches them to know that they are enough … perfect in their own right. It helps them understand who they are at their core and to learn how to present that proudly and perfectly to the outside world.

I developed GirlPower because I noticed that a lot of my grown-up girlfriends really struggled with who they were and what made them special. Many of them didn’t like themselves because they didn’t appreciate themselves. As a result, they were willing to accept bad behavior from others who didn’t appreciate them – their partners, their friends, their families, their bosses. I began to think what if girls were taught to recognize what makes them unique in all the world while they were still growing into womanhood .. if we could empower girls with that knowledge then they could have the confidence and self-reliance to achieve their goals and at younger ages …  they would feel amazing throughout their lives instead of waiting until they reached their 40’s or 50’s to truly appreciate themselves.

Taught in a classroom setting, this six-week course can be modified to fit busy classroom schedules. Ideally held one hour a week for six weeks, GirlPower is perfectly suited for between 10-20 elementary or middle school-age girls. For more information or to schedule GirlPower with your school or youth group, please email Michelle at [email protected]

Project Blues

The healing power of the Blues.

Blues. It’s the sound of raw, unapologetic human emotion. Born of struggle, hardship, overcoming adversity and living to connect our common experiences through the beauty of music, Blues has helped define the pure American sound. Originating in the Deep South at the end of the 19th century, no music genre is more American than the Blues… formed up out of spirituals, work songs, field hollers, shouts and chants. While perhaps not one’s first thought when listening to the Blues, the range of emotions it evokes have a lot in common with those one experiences when impacted by cancer. The realization of the gravity of one’s situation when diagnosed, the struggle to survive through treatment and, in the fortunate situations, the hopefulness found in the sheer will to live beyond.

Project Blues was born first in the hearts of a few good men who had experienced cancer and helplessly watched loved ones struggle with the disease. The idea sprung up from the notion that there’s fellowship and healing in the Blues.

Pain. Fellowship. Passion. Healing.
This emotional journey brings us together in Project Blues.

The idea that was Project Blues began to grow from three simple questions: What if we could raise the awareness of the cancer resources available to those who need them but cannot afford them? What if we could connect more people to an opportunity to be diagnosed and treated earlier? What if we could sponsor families that were financially struggling to make sure they stayed in their homes and had adequate support for their needs while a parent was undergoing treatment?

And, what if we could do all of this using the platform of the Blues?

With those questions answered, today Project Blues is a philanthropic organization focused on meaningful projects related to Blues music that raise awareness and funding to help people impacted by cancer but without resources connect with resources that can help them. Project Blues partners with LifeCare Alliance’s Columbus Cancer Clinic to fund mammograms, adopt families and lift the spirits of their patients through the Blues. We connect the dollars raised with the people who desperately need them.

The brainchild of Mike Berichon, Project Blues really became his way to save his sister. She was THE Columbus Cancer Clinic client except there was no Columbus Cancer Clinic to help her. She didn’t get diagnosed in time and when she did it was too late and she passed away inside of three months. This tragedy deeply affected his family and forever changed him. Every day and every dollar raised helps Mike and the other Project Blues volunteers keep this devastation from happening to other sisters, mothers, grandmothers, daughters and families.

Our mission is to personally impact the lives of people who are dealing with cancer in some way, either they have it, or their lives are affected by it. Having cancer doesn’t have to be a death sentence today, but unfortunately for those who are uninsured or underinsured, it often is. To change that, our goal in 2011 is to sponsor 250 mammograms for uninsured and underinsured women in Central Ohio. We also are aiming to adopt three to five families experiencing cancer. And, we are conducting free Blues Shows for the Life Care Alliance’s patients and clients. Plus, each year, are hosting a major Blue Show – our Project Blues Bash to raise funds to support our causes.

Lawrence Funderburke Youth Organization

LFYO is a youth development and leadership program dedicated to enriching the lives of at-risk children, one child at a time. Our organizational purpose is to provide youth with a variety of services and activities for the purpose of enhancing their social, moral, and educational development. The four primary program components are mentoring, life skills training, group/sport activities and camps, financial literacy programs and scholarships. Our program is designed to help kids to see themselves as investments that must appreciate in value to succeed.

In 2000, Lawrence and Monya Funderburke decided to mobilize their long-time commitment to community service and serving youth into an organization geared toward uplifting and educating today’s youth…And so the Lawrence Funderburke Youth Organization (LFYO) was born! The Funderburke’s wanted to establish a long-term institution that would change the lives of youth and empower them to reach their potential; not only while involved with the program, but throughout the rest of their lives. The primary goal of the program is to motivate youth to continue their education and live their lives with a positive purpose. While playing for the Sacramento Kings, Lawrence developed an after-school program in the Sacramento, California area that utilized local schools. Today, that program and many others LFYO operates are impacting youth in central Ohio!

The Lawrence Funderburke Youth Organization (LFYO) was formed on the belief that children must view themselves as investments that must appreciate in value in order to succeed. Our youth, like investments, require time, patience and refining in order to maximize their true potential and value. LFYO is committed to providing youth, regardless of race, social or economic status, with the information, resources and opportunity to appreciate their value.