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Teen program to celebrate new home

By Joel Hall

jhall@news-daily.com

For two years, the Ladies of Favor Mentoring Program has worked with the Clayton County Board of Health's Adolescent Health Center to provide young girls with practical, spiritual guidance. On Saturday, the program will celebrate a recent move into its own facility.

The Ladies of Favor Mentoring Program, through a Community Outreach Day, will host a ribbon-cutting ceremony and a school-supply drive Saturday from 10 a.m., to 1 p.m., at the program's new headquarters, at 1299 Battle Creek Road, Suite 240 A, across the street from Terry Cullen Southlake Chevrolet.

The Ladies of Favor Mentoring Program is a faith-based organization that works with teenage women on issues of self-esteem, abstinence and leadership. The program hosts monthly workshops, mother-daughter team-building exercises, and cultural fields trips.

Gabrielle Starr, the program's founder and executive director, said having its own space will allow the organization to grow.

"It just brings a sense of identification," Starr said. "It's a place where we can store our things, a place that we can call home. If the girls want to volunteer, or do homework, they can come here. It gives them a sense of ownership. It's a beginning, but it's something that we've been striving for, for a while."

Starr said the grand-opening celebration will include guided tours of the building, light refreshments, and a live disc jockey. Throughout the event, representatives will accept donations of school supplies from the community, she said.

"Each year we do a school-supply drive," Starr said. "This is something that the ladies can do. You have to be able to influence the life of somebody else. When they become adults, they can understand the concept of giving back."

Brenda Tillman, youth development coordinator for the Adolescent Health Center in Forest Park, said that while the center provides knowledge about diseases and pregnancy prevention to teens, the Ladies of Favor Mentoring Program offers one-on-one mentoring and