Transformational Change With An Entrepreneurial Spirit: Get To Know Ateira Griffin (Baltimore ’11) And BOND (Building Our Nation’s Daughters)
November 30, 2017
What was the need or problem that you wanted to address by starting BOND?
Ateira: While serving as the Dean of Students at The Baltimore Leadership School for Young Women, I realized there was a lack of healthy communication between mothers and daughters in single mother households. This problem affected my students’ potential to attain academic achievement, maintain healthy peer relationships, and see themselves positively. With the creation of BOND (or Building Our Nation’s Daughters), I aimed to promote healthy relationships between mothers and daughters in single mother households while providing support for the emotional, physical, and academic well-being of my students.
How does BOND support students and families?
Ateira: Mothers and daughters participate in year-long programming with art, STEM, and service learning activities to practice healthy communication, conflict resolution, and academic/professional development. Essentially we provide the activities and programming to allow single mothers and their daughters time to bond.
We also help participants set goals for long-term growth. Our programming first helps address root causes of issues within each relationship, and then promotes healthy relationships and communication practices that are sustainable and applicable to other areas of our participants’ lives.
How has BOND impacted students and families?
Ateira: Our programming has promoted academic success for both daughter and mother participants. Daughters participating in BOND programming have shown a growth of 3 to 5 percentage points in their core classes, an increase in attendance, and improved conflict resolution skills resulting in better peer relationships. Mothers have seen professional growth in the form of promotions, enrolling in a 4-year colleges, and moving up one economic bracket.
Where are you now?
Ateira: We currently work with seven families consistently. We will begin accepting new participants for our second cohort in August 2018. Along with our current families, we are also providing monthly programming and services to the broader single mother community in Baltimore City.
Photo by Harry Bosk.