Who We Are
iThrive Empowerment Inc. was founded in 2018 by Juanae Johnson, who currently serves as the Executive Director, to address the unique needs of girls who come from low resource communities of vulnerable and endangered girls. Our goal is to positively impact girls and women ages 12 to 25 that often feel invisible, vulnerable, powerless, and hopeless. This population is particularly vulnerable to human trafficking, teen drug abuse, and poverty as nearly 40% of children in the United States live in low-income families with incomes at or below 200% of the federal poverty level.
By investing in these girls, iThrive aims to rebuild deteriorating communities and deter juvenile delinquency, teen pregnancy, teen drug abuse, and a host of other problems that plague underserved and neglected communities. iThrive’s vision is to create a safe haven by teaching self-love and life skills focused on leadership, personal growth, business etiquette, and entrepreneurial strategies. iThrive is dedicated to the success of a population of girls who are often hidden in plain sight.
Students who live in communities with high levels of poverty are four times more likely to be chronically absent. Reasons for this include unstable housing, unreliable transportation, and a lack of access to health care. By sixth grade, chronic absence becomes a leading indicator that a student will drop out of high school. According to the Department of Justice, girls are lured/forced into prostitution as young as 12 years old. Many girls that are rescued self-identify as runaways, have truancy charges, engaged in sexual contact prior to age 13, live with one parent or have one parent incarcerated, have a history of family violence or drug abuse, or have been sexually abused.
To Empower is to make someone stronger and more confident, especially by claiming and claiming their rights.
Empowerment at iThrive stimulates the confidence within by providing to girls and young women skills that awaken the passion destiny and drive that is dormant within them. A proper nurturing, polishing, and sharpening of those skills is only made possible through better education, awareness, and a space to freely express oneself.
Girls with little or no education are far more likely to be married as children, suffer domestic violence, live in poverty, and become victims of human trafficking and a host of other crimes affecting our communities. Only 1 in 10 youth from low-income families go on to graduate from a four-year college, compared with 28% of youth from middle-income families and 50% of youth from high-income families. iThrive aims to educate the community on the issues and needs of this population in order to better their standard of living.
Research indicates that young people who are surrounded by a variety of opportunities for positive encounters that result from positive youth development programs engage in less risky behavior and ultimately show evidence of higher rates of successful transitions into adulthood (youth.org). iThrive hopes to transform communities by supporting and empowering girls and young women to reach their full potential.