Kelly Fair, the founder of Polished Pebbles, is committed to helping every young girl believe she, too, is a CEO through her “Every Girl Is a CEO Summer Work-Study Program.”
Through her program, the Chicago native helps girls ages 7-17 increase their communications skills at home, school, and in their future careers. This summer, over 160 African-American and Latinx girls, ages 14-19, received seven weeks of paid employment.
Since Fair launched the non-profit organization in 2009—which she did after leaving her corporate job—she’s worked with over 4,000 African-American and Latina girls. Her organization has also provided over 500 mentors to girls in more than 100 schools over the last 13 years.
Polished Pebbles currently serves over 500 girls and young women per school year in Chicago, Indiana, Texas, and North Carolina.
Girls and young women who live in Chicago are being affected by rising levels of crime over the past year. In addition to boosting the esteem of young women, the program also fills a paid work void for this age group.
Fair’s Polished Pebbles also offers a “Mommy & Me Summer Entrepreneurship Program” for moms and daughters to grow in the current workplace and prepare for future work environments. During the program, the mother-daughter duos hone in on their business plans in a Polished Pebbles version of the Shark Tank TV pitching show.
The CEO is also the author of “Every Girl is a CEO!” She’s been amazed by the support and attention that her organization has received.
When her assistant texted her about a request for her to appear on The Kelly Clarkson show last fall, she thought she was being pranked.
“When she said it was real…I was blessed by it,” she told Essence. “Sometimes this work can be really daunting. We were already in a pandemic, already working hard to keep our business going…and the girls engaged. It was a lift. I need those lifts sometimes to stay in this work. It was a much-needed affirmation that what we do matters.”
Polished Pebbles will be continuing its mission this year with its annual Every Girl Is a CEO Career Conference on Oct. 16. For more information, check them out on www.polishedpebbles.com.