MACON, Ga. — The 'Teens to Queens' summer camp was created 4 years ago, and is now in Macon for another year.
Last year, event creator Shira Lawrence announced they would permanently be in Central Georgia. In addition to being a summer camp, it is now also a mentorship program that young women can have access to throughout the entire year.
15-year-old and student at North East high school, Nadia Thomas needed a pick me up because she was battling low self-esteem as well as another issue about 2 years ago.
"I was going through a depression stage, so me getting out of the house it would brighten my eyes, because there's other people going through stuff and other kids like me," Thomas said.
Thomas' mom then signed her up for the Teens and Queens program and she has been in it for 3 years now.
"The biggest thing that I have learned is self confidence. She is big on self confidence. Going into Teens and Queens, I was insecure, and I didn't like how I looked," Thomas said.
Lawrence recognized the need for young women to have resources to be successful. She says her goal is to help them achieve whatever they want in life and to be a mentor for them.
"I know that there is hope for this generation. We hear so many terrible things and they have so much access to things that could be harmful. When they create that village, we know that they will have a better chance of succeeding for sure," Lawrence said.
She says the group provides a community so that young teens like Thomas can know that there is always someone there for them.
"She showed me that everybody goes through different stuff and we are going to get through it. Even if you feel like you're alone there's always somebody there," Thomas said.
This year, Lawrence's summer camp is partnering with the Department of Public Health, and each girl that completes the program will get a gift card and tablet.