Talking G.R.I.T.S. with Stephanie Willis

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Girls Rocking in the South (G.R.I.T.S) is an organization dedicated to mentoring young ladies from thirteen to eighteen.


Stephanie Willis was inspired to work with the G.R.I.T.S. program after working in education for 15 years.  Working in the school system fostered her desire to create an organization that would teach teenage girls to conduct themselves as young ladies and to later carry themselves as women.

Girls Rocking in the South is a platform that introduces like-minded teens who understand the importance of becoming productive members of society. Through the program, these young ladies participate in monthly activities that help them develop leadership skills, learn financial responsibility, build self-esteem, and earn community service hours.

G.R.I.T.S. is not your average after school program. Firstly, the organization recruits through Wilmington’s annual Teen Summit and an interest meeting every spring. The young ladies who participate in this program must go through an application process that only opens every six months. The goal of this membership procedure is to find a group of young ladies who are committed to the process of self-enrichment, career development, and empowerment.

The G.R.I.T.S. program teaches its young ladies how good grades, character, and community service tie together. Their bi-monthly conference call check-ins allow the young ladies to discuss current events, grades, and address any other issues they may be facing. The teens are also provided tutoring as needed. A secondary goal of the program is to teach its young participants the importance of sisterhood, team building, and conflict resolution.

Stephanie sums up her love for the beautiful young ladies she mentors by saying, “God didn’t give me my own daughter to raise, but now I have eleven.”

Ultimately, the G.R.I.T.S. program has made leaps and bounds toward their mission of becoming an agent of change in the lives of young women. Hats off to you ladies!


Connect with Stephanie and G.R.I.T.S. by visiting their Facebook page or website or email at (

G.R.I.T.S. is a subsidiary of Escape 2 Sisterhood.


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