MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Teenage girls are faced with different challenges. Teenage pregnancy, bullying, peer pressure and more.
L’Oréal Paris is honoring a Memphis woman for her dedication in helping to address some of these challenges.
Walking down Shelby Drive in Whitehaven brings back a lot of memories for Crystal Clark-Chatman.
She told FOX13’s Lauren Coleman what her life was like growing up as a teenager in that area.
“I grew up in the housing projects of Horn Lake Heights and it was either like you were in or you were out,” Clark-Chatman said.
“You know there were so many unknown gangs and you know so many cliques.”
She said throughout her teenage years she struggled to find her identity.
“Growing up in this area I faced low self-esteem,” Clark-Chatman explained.
“I faced depression, I faced a whole lot of bullying.”
It was those struggles and experiences that led her to create Beautiful Spirited Women.
Beautiful Spirited Women is a nonprofit organization for at risk girls ages four to 19-years-old.
Since its inception in 2010, BSW has expanded to eight different cities and states- regularly serving between 5,000 to 10,000 girls.
Download the FOX13 Memphis app to receive alerts from breaking news in your neighborhood.
“So, we do intimate workshops with the girls,” Clark-Chatman said.
“We talk about bullying, we talk about self-esteem, we talk about human trafficking, and we talk about girl-on-girl violence because that is a big issue here in the City of Memphis.”
Fifteen-year-old Tierney Becton said she’s seen a significant change in her attitude since she joined the program four years ago.
“I don’t react to situations how I used to,” Becton said. “I don’t be quick to spaz or go off on that person and I’ve been like having a better bond with my mother.”
This year, Clark-Chatman was named a 2019 L'Oréal Paris Women of Worth Honoree.
Each year ten extraordinary women are chosen from thousands of nominations for the impact they have made.
Clark-Chatman told FOX13 Beautiful Spirited Women was the first organization from Memphis and the second organization from Tennessee to be honored.
“I was actually like, Oh My God, this is a prank like we won, so we actual won!” Clark-Chatman said.
Clark-Chatman was awarded a $10,000 donation for the nonprofit from L’Oréal and now the public can vote to help her win $25,000 more.
“Every vote counts,” Clark-Chatman said.
"So, we need everyone in the City of Memphis to go out and place this vote because this will help the City of Memphis as well as our youth girls in our Community."
The public has until Nov. 15 to vote.
© 2020 Cox Media Group