GEM Culture, Inc. was started by a passionate mother, artist, former educator and mental health advocate, who was once a Girl Scout and a Girls Scouts Leader of 40 girls and seven leaders. After transitioning from Orlando back to Miami, she had a burning desire to start another Girl Scout troop in her hometown. As she settled into her new home, she became a middle school teacher working mainly with students of African and Hispanic origins. Many of them had social emotional issues and/or lacked resources needed to successfully navigate their world. Noticing how their environments greatly affected them, she began to feel the urgent need to step up and do something – fast. She knew what it was like to be a kid raised in a single-parent home, wondering why her dad was not there. She also knew how much what she did not know as a child, because of what her parents did not know or teach her, adversely affected her far off into her adulthood. As much as she wanted to start another girl scouts troop, something in her kept nudging her to set out and start her own youth organization. As a single mother of two, finding great programming that was free or within her budget was not always easy to find so she set out to create a program that would benefit, not only the children but, their parents, too. Finally, she convinced three fellow female educators to work alongside her as volunteer mentors and began working closely with a group of 14 girls, including her youngest daughter and some of whom were her students at the time, at a local middle
school in Miami during the spring of 2019. She provided the girls with access to mentors from different industries such as fashion, theater, photography, financial literacy, etc., taught them mindfulness techniques and self-love, and offered them great food and experiences during a 10-week pilot program. Being a mother of very active teenage girls who have participated in many programs,
she knew exactly what girls their ages wanted and needed; so, she delivered just that sponsored by her own pockets and the generous donations of guest mentors. She wanted to be the change that she wished to see so she named the group, GEM Culture, teaching the girls to value and carry
themselves as precious GEMs, which she often referred to them as. She gave insight in order to help prevent them from facing the same mistakes that she had in the past while also providing them with the tools and resources that she knew they would need. It was a very personal experience that the girls raved about and even took home with them to their parents. Just a few weeks later, after the closing of the pilot program, GEM Culture, Inc. officially became a non-profit 501(c)3 organization in order to further its mission and reach.