The idea for ‘High Heels and High Hopes’ came about last year when Nadera Oglesby was called to school about an incident involving her daughter.
“My daughter was in the first grade at the time,” she says, “and she was coming out of the bathroom at school one day, and a little girl walked up to her and choked her.”
As a mother, Oglesby was livid and needed to understand why her daughter was the target of such aggression. And after speaking to the little girl and her parents, she found out the child was jealous of her daughter’s hair. Oglesby’s daughter joined the growing number of kids being targeted by bullying. According to the National Education Association, about 160,000 students stay home from school every day due to bullying and two-thirds of students who are picked on become bullies themselves. It’s a cycle Oglesby was determined to stop.
“That bothered me and inspired me at the same time to want to do something to promote good peer communication and promote confidence and just a way to teach girls that its ok to hang with just girls.”
From there, High Heels, High Hopes was born. With the team of dedicated young women, the non-profit organization reaches out to inner city girls between the ages of 7 and 17 in Philadelphia through various activities that teaches them to self-love and empowerment.
“We partner with a lot of schools that work with girls,” Oglesby, founder of High Heels High Hopes, “just to kind of uplift and build confidence within girls in our area.”
The ladies are also looking to establish a mentoring program for 18-21 year-olds. In the program, the girls will mentor the younger ones and share their stories. Education is always at the center of High Heels, Hopes and Oglesby has plans to make sure her girls are staying focused in school by starting an after-school study program.
But perhaps what drives the passion behind High Heels, High Hopes the most, is Oglesby’s love for her community.
“I started this organization as something small, just working with kids, volunteering at my daughter’s school,” she says. “And then I said I wanted to take it a bit further.”
That initiative of wanting to progress inspired Oglesby to seek the help of city officials and host a fish fry to raise money.
“I’m not rich, I didn’t come from a lot of money but I have a mindset, this is something that I want to do and I feel like if you’re passionate about it and you wanna do it, then do it.”
Although, High Heels High Hopes is restricted to the Philly area at the moment, Oglesby wants to spread her message to other young girls and women across the country.
“Kids in our area, they don’t know what else is outside of Philadelphia, “she says. “If I could partner with people in Florida, partner with people in California, it’ll pose them to many different outlets and mindsets and get them to look at things a lot differently.”
And what makes Nadera Oglesby a Royal Woman?
“What makes me a Royal Woman is having the passion to want to help other Royal Women. It’s so many beautiful women in this world and sometimes you just need someone to tell them ‘you’re awesome, just to jumpstart their royalty. Royal women uplift one another. My goal and my desire right now is to help other women realize their worth and how much more they can be.”
Follow and learn more about High Heels, High Hopes on Instagram at @highheelshighopesinc
A working journalist, entrepreneur and founder of RoyalTee Enterprises. Born and raised in Tampa, Fla. The vision of RoyalTee was inspired in 2015 by Alexia’s ambitions to return to her passion for creative writing and publishing and create a platform to showcase the excellence of minority women across the country through professional, personal and social ventures.