News

Feb
13

Partnering To Inspire Young Women – T’wina Nobles, Ladies First

Filed Under: Vibrant Community - Posted @ 1:05pm

Over the past 38 years, Greater Tacoma Community Foundation has seen Pierce County grow and change, but what has remained constant is the passion people bring to building a thriving community. Sharing community knowledge and stories about our lived experiences builds everyone’s ability to make a positive impact.

In our latest annual book of Pierce County Partners, we share stories and insights from individuals and organizations who are making a difference in Pierce County. In their own words, they speak about the dreams and lessons that fuel their work in the community.

 

T’wina Nobles spent many of her childhood and teen years homeless and living in a shelter. It was there that the director Mrs. Miles made a memory for T’wina of the kind of woman she wanted to be.

“If I had to sum up my work with women and girls in Pierce County, I would say it is about creating a sisterhood of lifelong relationships that provide memories to inspire who and what they are becoming.”

“Mrs. Miles put me to work volunteering at the shelter and I was enriched by service and I learned valuable skills. She spent time with me and exposed me to opportunities I wouldn’t have had otherwise. She helped me begin to understand the power of sisterhood – women and girls who invest in and are loyal to one another.”

Inspired by people like Mrs. Miles, T’wina started Ladies First, a school-based learning program dedicated to empowering young women to make healthy decisions while promoting free thinking and cultural awareness in their everyday lives. Through partnership with Citizens for a Healthy Bay, T’wina became interested in creating an Environmental Justice Camp. She applied for a GTCF Spark grant to help bring the vision to reality.

“The Spark Grant we received for the camp truly was a spark. Not only did it lead to further private and corporate investment, but it has allowed us to grow to three camps this next year…”

“At the Environmental Justice Camp, the girls were informed so that they could be better advocates for the environment, but they were also exposed to women who were scientists, not working in a lab but out in their own community.”
“If I had to sum up my work with women and girls in Pierce County, I would say it is about creating a sisterhood of lifelong relationships that provide memories to inspire who and what they are becoming.”

“The Spark Grant we received for the camp truly was a spark. Not only did it lead to further private and corporate investment, but it has allowed us to grow to three camps this next year and to expand our environmentally focused programming into experiences like hikes and visits to National Parks.”

“the impact is immeasurable for the girl who took her first boat ride on Puget Sound or hiked in the rain for the first time with her sisters…”

“From the very beginning, the grants committee began to talk to us about how this idea could grow. With their encouragement, and the ways that Greater Tacoma Community Foundation told our story, we saw new relationships and connections develop that helped us do just that – grow it.”

“It’s hard to quantify the impact of that $1500. We’ve leveraged it into at least three times as much. But, the impact is immeasurable for the girl who took her first boat ride on Puget Sound or hiked in the rain for the first time with her sisters – making memories.”

 

Discover other Spark Grant stories and learn more here.