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Savannah woman uses business to empower girls

  • Nikki White
  • Nikki White

Nikki White says her career started in business, but her heart has always been in the nonprofit sector.

Now the founder of Fatherless Daughters of American is using her business skills and personal experiences to boost young women to their own careers.

“I wanted to start a movement that provides education for girls and women who have emotionally unattached or physically unavailable dads,” explained White. “I myself was one of these girls.”

After graduating from Savannah State University with a business degree in 2010, and serving as a radio show talk show host on Comcast’s “The Coastal Current,” White founded Fatherless Daughters of America in 2013.

It provides mentoring programs, scholarships, and one-on-one life coaching for females. On June 17, White will host the Fatherless Daughters of America Community Impact and Summit Tour 2017 in Savannah. The event will be at the Southwest branch of Live Oak Public Library, 14097 Abercorn St. The event begins at 11 a.m.

“We have community leaders coming together to provide real talks and empowerment sessions right before Father’s Day,” White explained. “We want to tell these girls and women, ‘You’re loved. This is how you redefine your life.’ This gets to the heart of the real issues.”

The girls who are part of the Fatherless Daughters of America are generally ages 7 through 17.

“I raise the money with the help of my husband and friends who believe in the movement,” White said. “We’ll throw backyard barbecues, organize a 5K race, and host pay-per-seat dinners to raise money for the organization.”

“I see many people want to help unwed mothers with kids,” said Carl Biathrow, Business Instructor at City of Savannah’s Entrepreneurial Center. The center helps teach people how to develop a business, whether it’s a non-profit or for profit.

“There’s a lot of interest, but not a lot of money,” Biathrow said. “It’s difficult to raise money for this sector. More power to her.”

Fatherless Daughters of America was not White’s first not-for-profit initiative.

White, who was adopted herself and didn’t have a father growing up, has always been invested in giving back. In 2007, she was awarded a $10,000 grant from the city of Savannah’s IDA program – a grant program no longer in existence – to create a youth recreational center on Henry Street and Montgomery Street.

“It was called Club Zion, and it was in one of the roughest parts of the city,” White said. “We hosted Christian Club Nights on Fridays and tutoring classes during the daytime. There was no drinking, drugs, or violence.”

White eventually took Club Zion on the road years after she founded it in Savannah, taking the model around the country to other poor neighborhoods.

“A lot of issues come into play with poverty and single mother home. I want to provide as many resources and as much help as I can,” White said.

Today, White lives in Savannah with her husband, Derrick, and her two children, Zion and Derrick.

For information about Fatherless Daughters of America and to register for the event, visit https://www.fatherlessdaughtersofamerica.org/

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In Case You Missed It