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Tuesday, 31 July 2018

Girls Inspiring Generations – see who’s been inspiring generations of young women to live their truth confidently!

girls inspiring generations

I must say, I feel really excited to feature one of my favourite mentors on GirlieFix Blog. Jacqueline Corley is the founder of Girls Inspiring Generations Inc. (popularly known as G.I.G.) and has been doing an amazing job in inspiring teen girls and young ladies…

In this blog interview, Coach J (which I prefer calling her) would share with us about her life, her passion for teen girls, and most especially about her non-profit girl organization. So sit back and enjoy your read! 😉

 Q: Can you please tell us a little more about yourself Mrs. Corley?

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Sure thing! I'm currently building a business as a wellness coach for women of color, and I'm also teaching Computer Science at Oklahoma Baptist University. I'm married to my wonderful husband Travis. We have been together for 6 years and married for 2 years. My passion is inspiring generations of young women to live their truth confidently. I have been a girl child advocate for over 20 years, and I am only 28. How is that possible, you ask? Well, it all started when I was 7 years old reading to 3 and 4 year olds. Since then, my passion for the younger generation has continued to grow. I've been working directly with teen girls for about 5 years now, and it has been an incredible journey.

Q: When G.I.G. start and how did it all begin?

G.I.G. officially started on June 21, 2016. However, the idea of creating a girls movement began to form in late 2015, after a very profound and life-changing call with a mentor of mine. I was at a crossroads in my life, where I was trying to decide where my life was headed next. On this call, I had come to the realization of my true purpose, which was empowering girls. Like Oprah said in her fabulous speech at the 2018 Golden Globe Awards, she knew there were little girls watching her as she received her very prestigious award, just as she used to do as a young child watching award ceremonies on TV. So in that moment, on that cold winter night in 2015, I had the exact same realization: little girls were watching me too. The part that stung most is that these girls looked up to me, yet I wasn't fully living my truth. As I'm in tears over this discovery, I made a commitment to live my truth to the fullest from that moment on, because people were counting on me to do it, and my purpose required it. That's when I simply began a Facebook page called Teenage Girls Community. After about 6 months of building this page, I realized that it was time to take things for the next level. So G.I.G. was born on June 21, 2016, during my one hour lunch break on a job that I wasn't a fit for me. (Pause for a minute; issa word! You might currently be in a place that was not designed for you to remain forever, but if you'll use that time to develop and maximize your dreams, you'll be ready for what's next.) During that lunch break was when the online community was born. Now, I had originally called it "Generation Ablaze," but that didn't truly define the group's purpose. I wanted the impact these girls would have to last forever and influence those who would come after them. So Girls Inspiring Generations became the official name, and we have been going strong ever since.

Q: Did you face any fear or discouragement when you started G.I.G.?

Did I? Whew! I had TONS of fear. When it first began, I was sooooooo worried that G.I.G. would not be successful. When you are first building something, it is not always the easiest time putting it together. A movement of our caliber is no different. When sharing what I started, I was not supported by those that I thought would support me, I was made fun of, people doubted me and didn't want me to move forward with this because they were scared I would fail, and many other instances. However, I learned this one valuable principle; your purpose is not dependent on someone else's level of support. I also learned that while these responses weren't favorable, those who shared these thoughts were only doing the best they knew how at the time and simply wanted to protect me from failure. But as I have learned, mistakes are actually a good thing, because they teach us lessons we could not learn otherwise. I have made plenty of mistakes while building this incredible ministry, and I wouldn't trade those experiences for the world. G.I.G. is a great movement today because of those hard lessons learned, and I'm forever grateful.

Q: Can you share some of GIGs accomplishments since it started.

Absolutely! In addition to expanding  our reach to 4 different countries in the last two years, we became an official non-profit organization in June 2017. We have held the 1st annual Miss GIG pageant in July 2017, and we will hold the 2nd one in August 2018. We have all opened state chapters in Oklahoma and Lagos, Nigeria, and we are in the middle of planning the first Lagos, Nigeria conference. Since GIG began, we have created over 15 teen leaders who have started their own movements, two of which are on track to becoming non-profit organizations as well.

Q: What are your goals for G.I.G. for the nearest future?

Over the next 6 months, we plan to hold the 2nd annual Miss GIG pageant, the Lagos, Nigeria conference, and the first Oklahoma local meetup. These events are solely focused on empowering girls to step into their greatness and live their truth with confidence.

Q: We understand that you're a professor in a university in Oklahoma. So you must be a busy woman. How do you manage time for the girls of G.I.G, work and family?

#1 thing I do every Sunday is plan out my week. I fill in every appointment or meeting that I am required to be at (all the non-negotiables, which includes my professor duties). I then fill in my personal development, exercise, and time with God. Next I fill in my marriage and family time. Then I make a to-do list of items I need to complete when I have free time throughout the day. These could be laundry, cooking, cleaning, errands, business responsibilities, and miscellaneous tasks for G.I.G.
This helps me stay grounded and ensure that I'm on the right track.

Q: If you could change one thing about your past, what would it be?

The fact that I didn't create G.I.G. sooner! 🙂 These young ladies have been such a blessing to interact with. I have so much gratitude for G.I.G. and all of the encouragement, inspiration, and empowerment I have received, just from having the opportunity to lead this movement.

Q: If you were opportune to make a speech to all girls, what would be the theme of that speech?

This is all about letting go of the limiting beliefs that have been placed on girls by our society, and embracing who they are truly meant to become. This is easier said and done, but it can be done. And this speech would address exactly how this can be accomplished.

Q: what motivates/inspires you the most?

What motivated and inspires me the most are stories of overcomers, especially young girls, who have defeated the odds and still accomplished their dreams. It inspires me to believe bigger, reminds me to never give up, and refreshes my sense of purpose. I am also reminded: if they can do it, I can do it too! If they had the persistence and the courage to keep going, so can I! These stories are a sweet reminded that purpose can be birthed from pain, a message can be birthed from a mess, and even the biggest test can be turned into a testimony.

Q: What was your biggest struggle as a teenager, and how did you overcome it?

Trying to find ME. I was honestly tired of everyone telling me who they thought I should be when I really didn't want to be any of those things. I was made fun of when I decided to do what made me happy. I was slandered at times. People would even inbox me on social media (that's when Facebook became really popular), and tell me to stop posting about God. A parent once threatened me due to false accusations from her daughter, and I had to choose to still be loving and godly in that moment. So all in all, I decided to continue to be me, no matter how much ridicule and opposition I faced. I knew it would pay off in the future, even though I couldn't see it at first. Looking at my life today, I am so thankful that I endured those tough moments by making the decision to stick close to my values.


Q: What are 3 false statements you heard most as a teenager that you realized aren't true in your adult years?

1. You need to go to college so you can make more money.
While there is some truth to this, college is NOT a place you go to get a degree so that you can sustain a "good job." While you can do that, that should not be a person's primary motivation to attend school. College is only meant to be part of your success plan; it is not me to BE your success plan. As someone who has been to college twice and is now a professor, please recognize that it's not wise to spend thousands of dollars (or naira) to get into the university for the wrong reasons. College does not define you; it is only meant to be part of your story. Also, there are plenty of things that can be done in the world today that do not require college degrees. Let no one make you feel bad or unworthy if you don't have a degree. You are not in this world for a degree; you are in this world to make a difference. That doesn't always require a degree or certification.
2. You are too young to know what you want to do in life.
Purpose knows no age, so it's not wise to define purpose by age. I am 28 years old, and while it did take almost a decade to fully step into my calling, I do believe that it doesn't have to take that long for others. We all have different journeys, and sometimes people associate the word "journey" with the word "lengthy." NO. While it is true that some endeavors require a lot of time and energy, some do not, and it doesn't have to take light-years for you to discover who you were designed to be. That's why G.I.G. exists. I'm so grateful to God for this platform because it has provided so many girls with the opportunity to lead from a place of purpose and fulfillment, rather than a place of forceful intent. When you live in purpose on purpose, it doesn't have to be forced; it's like it comes natural to you. And you are never too young, or too old, to discover your natural giftings and ability. Simply set aside the time to do this, and before you know it, you'll be well on your way to living your greatest potential.
3. The final thing I have for you today is:
“I have to have a boyfriend in order to be happy.”
That is a lie, too. Just because all of your friends have a boyfriend or because you're a beautiful girl, doesn't make you ready for a relationship. As I have always told the girls in G.I.G: a relationship is a responsibility. Sure, swag is cute for a few seconds, and it's fun to hold someone's hand and show everyone that you're "exclusive." But what about when one of you gets sick? What if he loses a loved one? What if he tells you a deep secret he has been holding onto for years that he hasn't told anyone else? What if he is unhappy with you sometimes because you've done something that hurt him? Could you handle it? Could you be forgiving? Would you walk away? What about how he treats you? Does he respect you? How does he treat others? By now, I'm sure you understand there is much to consider. If you're not ready for that, it is best be single until you have grown and developed enough to be able to handle all of that. See, these are things that swag, holding hands, and showing each other off to the world can't handle. There has to be substance. And if not, a relationship can wait. Don't be so quick to find a boyfriend right now that you are slow to develop into the right kind of young lady that your future husband will need.

I want to add one more thing to this: Many of you reading this may have parents who have told you not to have a boyfriend right now, and you always wonder why. Well, I just told you why.  So, keep focused on your dreams and goals until the right person comes along that will allow you the opportunity to mesh his destiny with yours. Because at the end of the day, the assignment you have been created to carry out is greater than your desire for a partner. You are powerful, young lady, so powerful. Don't allow this, or anything else, to distract you or rob you of your power.
 Step into your Queendom and own it, and one day, the right one will come along and add you to his kingdom. ☺…

Sooo guysss…that’s all we’ve got from Jacqueline Corley of G.I.G.
We hope you enjoyed the interview as much as I did. To learn more about her, check her out on Facebook @ Jacqueline Corley.
(p.s. we’ve linked up her FB account with the name above, so all you gotta do is click on the highlighted ‘Jacqueline Corley’, and it will take you straight to her FB profile!)

By the way, what questions do you wish we’d asked? Post a comment below! ❤

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