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About Girls Like Me

Our Mission

Our mission is to empower girls and young women to achieve self-actualization by providing mentorship, education, and resources that help girls and women increase their self-esteem and self-efficacy.

Our Vision

Our vision is to create a world where self-doubt is extinct.

Our Story

A call to action

While enrolled in her senior year of college, Déja Coley found herself reflecting on her journey as a teenaged girl. She realized that, as a teen, she allowed the opinions of other people to dictate who she would be. Déja immediately felt drawn to prevent this from happening to other teen girls by helping them build their own narratives instead of following the narratives others created for them. This birthed, Girls Like Me.

The earliest recollections

Déja’s earliest recollection of gaining awareness of these narratives arrived during her middle school years. She was labeled as boisterous, bossy, aggressive, frantic, and self-centered. It was clear to Déja that if she wanted to be accepted, she had to be someone else; she felt that her natural personality wasn’t enough. Déja tried, for quite a while, to tone it down but as she developed, she began to gain value in authenticity. From then on, Déja decided that no one’s opinion of her would define who she would be.

In the beginning

September 2016, Déja reached out to family and friends with preteen and teenaged daughters for a Luau themed sleepover. She wanted to be certain that this was something she could and truly desired to do. The inaugrual Girls Like Me, Session 1 Orientation took place shortly after. Déja raised $600 to allocate for legal filings and Girls Like Me became a formal 501(c)3 nonprofit by February 2017.

Working toward the vision

Since forming, Girls Like Me has conducted 4 successful sessions helping girls increase their self-esteem and self-efficacy. Through our work, we hope to one day end self-doubt amongst teen girls so that they can live fulfulled lives in their truth without the desire to be defined by the narratives others set for them. Our Founder, Déja Coley, cultivates this vision in her own life through mindfulness, self-reflection, and choosing happiness.

Board of Directors

Déja Coley

Board President

Carrie Sue Casey

Board Member

Mica Morgan

Board Member

Meet Our Team

Déja Coley

Founding Executive Director

Jacqueline Santarpia

Program Coordinator Lead IV

Kendra Diaz

Program Coordinator Lead I

Leslie Quiroz

Program Coordinator III

Rachel Nguyen

HR Coordinator Lead

Isabella Bologna

Program Coordination Intern

Evelyn Riley

HR Coordinator Intern

Mia Vitello

Program Coordination Intern

Ruby Pepper

Program Coordinator Intern

Lea Smolyanskiy

Program Coordinator Intern

Atoosa Yazdanniyaz

Program Coordinator Intern