Dawn Rowe founded Girl Vow, Inc. to address the gender-specific needs of disadvantaged girls, femmes, and gender-expansive youth in New York City. Many Black women struggle to find help to get out of bad situations such as domestic violence, prostitution, drug abuse, neglect, and more. However, Girl Vow, Inc. helps girls maneuver bureaucratic hardships which often are the root cause of unimaginable traumas. Dawn’s only mission is to save as many girls as she can, similar to how others saved her, and that is exactly what she is doing relentlessly.
“I started Girl Vow because, as a young girl, I was suicidal. But as I got older, I realized it wasn’t that I wanted to die — I wanted my problems to die,” adds Dawn. “Dealing with the issue of suicidal ideation and wanting a problem to end are two different phenomenons,” explains Dawn.
Girl Vow is a nonprofit that helps LGBTQIA+ youth and young women impacted by foster care and poverty. Girl Vow serves girls between the ages of 12 and 24 in New York and takes girls out of crack houses to make sure they have emergency housing while in a crisis.
Beauty Within interviewed the founder of “Girl Vow” Dawn Rowe.
Beauty Within: “There are many black girls that are murdered through human trafficking. Do you have any idea why information on these girls aren’t found online?”
In other words, missing Black youth are grossly underreported in the news. For missing girls, it’s even worse. When Black girls go missing, far too many people don’t know or don’t care,” Mayes wrote.
Many argue that the stories of young Black girls and women who are missing don’t get the same degree of local, national and global attention as other races.
Many maintain that African Americans aren’t afforded the intense police investigations or the media coverage given to whites that go missing.
“Black girls are magical and should be noticed, uplifted and acknowledged, both within and outside of the Black community,”.
“To recognize Black girls as magical means defining them as precious, unique and valued. When society recognizes their worth and value, I believe that more attention will be paid to this matter. In addition, it will call for all people to recognize this as an epidemic and cause for action”.
Dawn Rowe: “My personal experiences to create a mentorship program.
Prior to becoming the Founder of Girl Vow, Inc. Dawn was once slated for an alternative to the incarceration education program and placed in drop-out prevention during her high school years while suffering from family turmoil. The fear of being placed in an institutional setting coupled with parental abandonment would cause Dawn to drop out of high school. However, the love for academics and the push from mentors would cause Dawn to attend an alternative high school; where she received her high school diploma.
Girl Vow, Inc. is Dawn’s passion to intervene in each one of the aforementioned social dilemmas. Dawn wants to save as many girls as she can the way others have saved her.
Beauty Within: “What self help books do you recommend for people to read.
Dawn: “Iyanla Vanzant is my favorite author. A few of her books are ‘In the Meantime’, ‘Peace from broken pieces’, ‘Get over it’ and much more.”
Beauty Within: “How do you help juvenile young women?”
Dawn: “We help young girls adjust home life after staying at corrections facility. We speak to the parents to understand the adjustments when the young girls come home. The young girls’ thinking, culture of inmate life is different. We help people transition so parents and children. Advocating students incarcerated virtually dealing with court cases.”
Beauty Within: “Do you”offer Business programs to young girls at risk?
Dawe Rowe: Vow offers management, financial workshops, how to fill out a money order, and opening a bank account.
Beauty Within: Has Girl Vow program made a difference in people’s lives?
Dawn Rowe: The program offers to Take young women on college tours, finding jobs and creating a future for themselves.”
Use this another time Beauty Within: “What toxic upbringing parents do with their children? What things can parents do different?”
Beauty Within: “Did ‘Girl Vow’ program helped any human trafficking victims?”
Dawn Rowe: “Absolutely. A girl was shot by her pimp. The girl was trying to get away. The girl went to the bathroom to contact me. In the past had girls dealing with similar situations that were homeless. Some girls rather deal with a limo than live in a shelter .Institution things
Why girls are involve in trafficking if not in an at risk home? If they have a caring family?I t’s like being in a gang. It’s a mentor ship but in the wrong direction. It’s someone that cares for her. Someone believes in her mind that they care for her. They will turn on you quickly. Mind control. Pimp drug girls for them to come back.”
Beauty Within: “What tips should young girls at risk know?”
Dawn Rowe: I taught the girl to say word play code, in case of an attack. What do you recommend for girls in potential danger.
The pros of the program to help young women at risk. “Plan of action Code: Sardines & Pickles, Red Hot Chili Pepper. Keep cell phone on.”
Beauty Within: “What programs are open due to Covid?”
Dawn Rowe: “Empowerment Zoom workshops are on Tuesdays, Youth Ambassador program – This program there are paid, treated like a staff member that’s highlighted for a year. Young participants help with organizing events for Girl Vow. Mentor ship- still in the field due to Covid. It’s a critical time to help young people. The work is more intense. Dawn is still visiting correctional facilities to help young girls.”
As many kids don’t get mental health help, she has taken the burden to assist as many girls as she can. When she tells them her story they are often drawn in and keep coming back.
“My work is not your cookie cutter mentoring program,” she explained.
She advocates for young people in court, provides job training, resume building, helps girls find housing, adjust to life after jail, find jobs and much more.
When COVID-19 arrived she did not stop working. She holds Zoom workshops and participates in virtual court cases for teens.
In the end it is very emotional for her and the teens, but the juice has been worth the squeeze.
“Sometimes you need someone to advocate for you in order for things to happen,” she stressed. “I know this is the work I was put on this earth for.”