Using Personal Tragedy to Help Girls Impacted by Violence
Steve Adubato goes One-on-One with A’Dorian Murray-Thomas, Founder & CEO of SHE Wins & 2018 Russell Berrie Making a Difference Award honoree, to hear how a personal tragedy inspired her to give back to young girls in Newark whose lives have been impacted by violence.
"You start generations and generations of people going to college. You know, becoming lawyers, doctors, whatever it is you want to do. You start generations with that. A'Dorian's great. And like, she teaches us more than like, just like, inside of school thing, like, how to make friends. Like, she also teaches us about, like, economic problems. Like, things that's going on in the world. I learned self confidence, time management, and how to react in certain situations. They're basically, like, big sisters who, like, help you and, like, teach you, like, lead you and guide you. It's honestly a good experience, because you get to see the girl that you're mentoring grow and to becoming a leader, just like you. [music playing] You saw the video, and here she is, the leader right here. A'Dorian Murray-Thomas, Founder, SHE Wins Incorporated. A terrific organization. We met you at the Russ Berrie Awards For Making a Difference. You were recognized with your colleagues. Tell folks what SHE Wins is all about. So thank you Steve. SHE Wins is a leadership and social action organization for middle and high school girls, based in my hometown of Newark. Particularly those affected...Mine too. ...by violence. Always. Always. You gotta... That's right. ...represent the Brick City. Brick City. Uh huh. But you know it well? And you know in a way that... Yeah. ...unfortunately, you'd rather have never have known it this way. When you talk about violence, and young girls affected by violence, this isn't some philosophical or theoretical thing for you. It's real. So when I was seven years old, my father was gunned down just two blocks from my house on his way to go pay my school tuition of all things. And so our lives really kind of changed drastically. And at seven, when the man who's tucking you in at night, taking you to school, you find out that one day he's just gone. There's really no sort of normal way to react. And so, at that age, you know, I went from being, you know, the perfect kid in school, always, you know, at seven, you don't really get A's and B's, right? You get the checks and check plusses. That's right. And I get all the checks and check plusses to ending up in the principal's office every day. And really kind of struggling with that trauma. So it wasn't till years later where I really got to, kind of, think back to, one, what was going through my seven-year-old head? And then two, what made that different? So that even though I struggled a little bit academically and behaviorally right..."