EarHustle411 believes in giving back to the community and we do our best to support local foundations that have missions to change the lives of our young people. Our young girls today are faced with so many different obstacles. sometimes they don’t know where or who to turn to when they are faced with a challenge like sex, bullying, behavioral issues or even more personal situations. Social media and how it is being used by our young people as a means to do improper things like fighting and bullying to say the very least. The Bee You Foundation founded by a EarHustle411 follower Brandy Bedenfield has vowed to use her awkward experiences growing up to change the lives of young girls. We had a nice conversation with her about the foundation and its goals as well as a special event coming up at the end of June.
EH411: Hi Brandy!! Thank you for taking the time out to speak with us. So Let’s jump right on in there alright!
Brandy: No problem, thank you for having me.
EH411: What was your source of inspiration behind starting The BEE YOU Foundation?
BB: After being bullied as a teen, not learning to properly handle conflict and now seeing girls record and post physical altercations on social media, I wanted to do something to help save our girls. I wanted to provide a place for at risk teen-aged girls to fellowship with others to discuss issues that plague them throughout their adolescent years, while mentoring them in the area of education, socialization and health. I also wanted to stress the importance of individuality and show them, by example, how being myself has gotten me to the happiest place in my life, hence The Bee You Foundation.
EH411: WOW!! That’s really interesting and awesome. So many girls are dealing with issues like bullying and don’t know what to do. Approximately how many teens are involved with the foundation?
BB: We are currently in the developmental stage of The Teens to Queens Mentoring Program, which is an initiative of The Bee You Foundation. I have been mentoring girls for over 5 years on my own and through my church, so those 8 young ladies are the initial members of Teens to Queens Mentoring Group. Four of these young ladies will be honored at the 1st Annual Teens to Queens Tea June 25, 2016 for doing exceptionally well in their lives and in their communities.
EH411: That’s really cool, we believe that every young person should be involved in the community, it’s something about community service to give a person a different perspective of life. What are the age requirements to be a part of the programs with the foundation?
BB: The age requirement to be a member of The Teens to Queens Mentoring Program is 13-19, which will be divided into 2 groups: (13-15) & (16-19).
EH411: What types of events are part of the foundation’s program?
BB: We currently have 2 events scheduled.
The 1st Event is The Teens to Queens Tea June 25, which is a mixer/introduction to the program. At this event, we will gauge the interest of attendees as well as have a candid conversation about these ladies needs and how we plan to meet them through program events.
The 2nd is the Back to School Block Party Sept. 3, where we will be parting in peace to celebrate the start of the new school year, playing 80s/90s childhood games and handing out school supplies to children in need.
After the tea and once we know how many new members there are, my team will get together to discuss our welcome event (date: TBD), where we will link each teen to a mentor. Our plan is to get together twice a month to do everything from charity work in the community to seminars about finances and college. Events will be held in a safe and educational environment, while promoting sisterhood building skills and enjoying each other. We are also developing a blog and chatroom to host weekly discussions.
EH411: That is so AMAZING!!! What are some challenges you are facing with the foundation?
BB: The challenges that I am facing with the start of The Bee You Foundation is getting funding and donations for the program. All of what has been scheduled has come from my own pocket and a few friends have donated money and/or supplies, but in order to keep the program running, we must find sponsors who believes in the mission and willing to assist. Now that the program is growing, I can no longer support the events on my own or use my home as the meeting place. We will need larger venues, more supplies and funds to accommodate our group. We are accepting donations and no donation is too small and can be made by going to the Foundation website www.beeyoufoundation.com
EH411 We totally understand, it is really difficult to move forward when the funds are not readily available. Is the foundation accepting volunteers and what qualifications does one need to have?
BB: The Bee You Foundation can always use more volunteers, especially after the Teens to Queens Tea June 25, 2016. We will need to do a criminal background check on candidates, to ensure there are no previous history of crimes against children or any other offense that will disqualify them. We also ask that the person have a positive mind and open heart ready to give and guide our ladies to success.
EH411: How can people get in touch with the Foundation?
BB: For more information and upcoming events go to www.beeyoufoundation.com or follow us on Twitter @beeyoufound; Instagram @beeyoufoundation and Facebook the Bee You Foundation. We can also be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org (adults) and email@example.com (teens)
EH411: Can you tell us about the Teens to Queens Tea and how that came about?
BB: Teens to Queens is a mentoring program and the first initiatives of The Bee You Foundation. I wanted to do an annual event that would honor young ladies in the program that has exhibited the behavior of a queen, who are active leaders in their community and who can be positive role models to and for other young ladies. This year’s Teens to Queens Tea is structured a little different because it is our first and the introduction to the program. In years to come, the tea will be a private event and only offered to current and perspective members. Each year, we pray, that our tea is bigger and more fun than the next.
EH411: That’s great!! EarHustle411 will be in attendance for your first tea and we are excited to see what’s in store. Can you tell us about future plans the foundation will embark on?
BB: The plan for The Bee You Foundation is to mentor young ladies through their adolescent years and beyond. We want to change the mentality of our girls so that they become leaders and ultimately build sisterhoods to strengthen our families and communities. Through education and experiences, we hope to spark the giver in each one to teach and promote self-love and unity to others in need.
EH411: Self-love and unity is something that is missing in the lives of our young people and as a woman we should be embracing our young ladies and guiding them in the direction they should go to achieve the greatness instilled in them. What are some of the foundation’s present events and are there plans to branch outside of the foundation’s hometown?
BB: The Bee You Foundation has 2 events currently scheduled.
1st Annual Teens to Queens Tea June 25, 2016, 12-4pm at the Stamps-Rhine Center 1327 N. Larrabee. List currently close due to capacity.
2nd Back to School Block Party Sept. 3, 2016 10am-9pm 4500 block of South Leamington. RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org
3rd Teens to Queens Mentoring Group Welcome Event for new members. Date & location: TBD
We’d love to expand the programs to other cities in need and we are currently in talks with other foundation leaders in regards to collaborating with their programs.
EH411: As founder, what are your top 3 goals you’d like to accomplish?
BB: As the founder, my top 3 goals are as follows:
a) Teach young ladies the importance of self-love, believing in themselves and embracing their individuality. I grew up with a Mother that told me I was beautiful and could do anything. She encouraged me to be strong and stand up for what I believed in; set goals and have high standards; to work, play and pray hard. I just want to pass those valuable lesson on.
b) Promote sisterhood and unity among women. All too often, we feel that there is only space for one woman to win. That’s a huge myth. I could not have put this foundation together without other positive sisters helping me along the way. It is imperative to ones success to embrace and request the assistance of other successful women.
c) Stop the violence. I want to teach our girls ways to handle conflict without getting into physical altercations. Coming from a family where I was taught to physically defend myself, I didn’t realize how wrong that was until I got into trouble for fighting as a teen. Although I completely support defending oneself ONLY when assaulted, most times conflict can be avoided by removing yourself from a particular environment or disassociating oneself from people who create and instigate negativity. There are so many other ways to resolve conflict without getting physical and I want to teach our girls to think of those options in the moment and the consequences that can potentially come from fighting.
EH411: We think these are phenomenal goals and they cab definitely be achieved. Can you tell us about the BEE YOU Foundation Team?
BB: The Bee You Foundation Team is made up of friends and family from all different professions that are passionate about the welfare of young ladies. Team members are as follows:
Brandy Bedenfield – Founder/Mentor at The Bee You Foundation. Business Administrator of Northwestern University (10 yrs). Owner & Talent Manager at De-Lux Management & Consulting Group LLC. Owner (3 yrs). Event Producer at Epic Life Events (3 yrs).
Cassandra Brown – Treasurer/Mentor at The Bee You Foundation. New Hire Manager for the Greater Chicago Area for Bank of America (8 yrs).
Tausheaua Starks – Board Member/Mentor at The Bee You Foundation. Assistant Director of Nursing 18 yrs. Owner of Taushie’s Brown Sugar Scubs and more (1 yr). Owner of Taushie’s Tantaliizing Sweets and More (1 yr).
Mashana Curry-Nixon – Secretary/Mentor at The Bee You Foundation. Registered Nurse at Jackson Park Hospital (5 yrs).
Jennifer Alexander – Board Member/Mentor at The Bee You Foundation. Contract Manager for Early Childhood Education for City of Chicago Public Schools (21 yrs). Owner of Island Indulgence Organics Skin Care (1 yr).
Additional Mentors – Tracy Jackson, Janelle Dean, Anana Carter, Phoebe Graham, Regina Phipps, DJ Clemmie Carthans
EarHustle411 would like to thank Brandy Bedenfield for talking with us and we wish her and The Bee You Foundation much success as she goes forth with the foundation’s mission. We pray that all of the young honorees continue to be the shining examples for other young ladies to strive to be like.