Motivational Mondays

The Elder W. Diggs School 42 gymnasium was vibrating with excitement as the students, all girls, grades 3-6, participated in a “Motivational Monday” rally.  It all started in late September 2015, when a group of strong and empowering men from the non-profit organization Urban Initiatives INC, joined together to greet students at Cold Spring School with high fives and words of encouragement. From there, women from all different backgrounds and professions decided to join together to embrace and empower young ladies in the Indianapolis community.
To begin the rally, the women lined up at the gymnasium doors greeting the students as they walked in, with high fives and expressions of motivation. Timeko Whitaker, CEO of Authentic Identity Coaching, LLC and Urban Initiatives INC representative says these Motivational Monday rallies are all about sisterhood and encouraging young women to think about their future career choices.
“We really just encourage them to pursue excellence in everything that they do, it’s important for our young sisters to feel like they matter and that they have a voice,” says Whitaker.
Whitaker instructed the students to link arms with one another. She explained to the students that by linking arms with their fellow sister and uplifting them, they can do powerful things throughout their lives. 


“Even when you don’t feel like it, embracing your sister and uplifting her will make you feel better,” says Whitaker.
Whitaker taught the students 3 attributes to incorporate in their lives daily.
  1. Showing up and being ready- Showing up to school on time, ready to learn
  2. Standing up and being counted- Let your voice be heard, everything that you do matters
  3. Lifting someone up – Make someone smile, encourage them to keep going

Students answers how she can show that she’s ready for school every day


Motivational Mondays Greta Adams, CEO of Urban Initiatives INC, says she went to Elder W. Diggs School 42 and grew up in the surrounding neighborhood. She wanted to let students know that where you come from doesn’t have to determine where you end up.

“No matter where you come from, no matter where you live, you can do whatever you put your mind to, believe that,” said Adams with cheers from the crowd of students.
Adams then went on to introduce the team of professional career-minded women that stood behind her. One by one they introduced themselves and described their professions. 
Timeko Whitaker gives empowering speech to students.
Some of the professions included:

-Financial aid advisor

-Pharmaceutical tester

-Zumba Instructor

-Life insurance agent


-Social Media Manager

-Social Worker/Therapist

The students then chose which career they were interested in and sat in discussion groups with the different women.
Motivational Mondays  

Students learn about a career in Aviation.

“I wanted to learn more about how to get money to go to college, so that I can run my own daycare center, I chose to meet with the financial aid advisor,” says Elder W. Diggs School 42 fourth grader Aniaya B.
Jean Ely, Elder W. Diggs School 42 Assistant Principal says, “Our young ladies, will grow to be the anchors of their families. If we don’t focus on them, it will be easier for them to get off track. We need to encourage them and focus on helping them make good career choices.”

The students stand up and say, “I am smart” in unison.

The next Motivational Monday is at Carl Wilde School 79 on January 25. To get involved with Urban Initiative INC, visit the organization’s Facebook page and request to be added to the group.
“There’s so much negativity and violence, we want to be that light in a dark place, we want them to know that we believe in them,” says Whitaker.