Rebecka DevlinRebecka Devlin has keen insight into what the Girls Inc. Experience is all about. After all, she was once a girl herself.

“As a child I was raised by my father. He was a business owner and he wasn’t there much,” Rebecka says. “I often wonder how it would have been to have more of a support system in my life - to fill in the blanks, to fill in the gaps.”

That question is at the heart of her drive to support Girls Inc. of Memphis.

A Detroit native, Rebecka moved to Memphis in 2015 with her husband and son so she could take a position in Loan Operations at First Tennessee Bank.

“One way we connect at First Tennessee is through Employee Resource Groups (ERG) - sort of extracurricular activities at work,” she said. “There are groups focused on diversity, for working parents and for former members of the military.”

Rebecka serves as the community outreach chair for an ERG called the Women’s Initiative. Recently, the group shifted its focus from a broad range of community endeavors to just two non-profits - DeNeuville Learning Center and Girls Inc. of Memphis.

“We thought Girls Inc. was just doing amazing things,” Rebecka said. “The tag line for the Women’s Initiative is ‘Working together to promote the success of women within our company and our community.’ But I usually say, ‘Empowering women to become their most amazing selves.’

“And when it came to Girls Inc., we thought, ‘Why do we have to wait for girls to become women before we do that?’”

Clearly, Rebecka “gets” the mission of Girls Inc. But the perspective she brings is unique.

“Girls Inc. impacts girls from elementary school all the way through and beyond college,” she said. “And life is interesting during those years for girls. It’s a great support system.”

Fortunately for Girls Inc., it’s more than just talk with Rebecka. She’s a donor and encouraged a number of co-workers to sign up for the Mother-Daughter Tea earlier this year. In June, she and six other fellow First Tennessee employees welcomed and escorted guests at the Celebration Luncheon.

She spearheaded a donation drive at several First Tennessee financial centers. And she was instrumental in organizing and coordinating the first ever Strong, Smart and Bold Boutique, held recently at the administrative offices.

“For two weeks, my ERG collected women’s professional clothes at five Memphis sites,” Rebecka said. “We corralled everything together and brought it to the Girls Inc. offices and had a sorting party.”

Fifteen volunteers helped set up and run the boutique, which was promoted among First Tennessee staff, and Girls Inc. supporters and friends. For $25, boutique visitors received a reusable Girls Inc. bag and the chance to fill it with whatever clothing they could fit into it. Proceeds went to fund programs and the left over items were donated to the clothing program at Union Grove Baptist Church in Frayser.

For Rebecka, Girls Inc. is important because it provides support for girls from any set of circumstances.

“Every girl has her own story. But Girls Inc. seems to meet all of them where they are,” she said. “It’s this skeleton key of a program that fits every lock. It make me feel good that these girls have a place to go.”

 

 

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I had no idea how much I could do and accomplish until I came to Girls Inc. Now I know I can build robots, interact with Congress people, I can be an entrepreneur, I can speak in public…I can do anything I put my mind to. - Jamaya


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Girls Inc. of Memphis
Administrative Office
910 Vance Ave.
Memphis, TN 38126
901-523-0217
 
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