Welcome to The Girls Room
A Black girl from Philly "helping girls turn dreams into plans!"
“Representation is everything,” Lowery said as she rolled her neck and laughed.
She sat and recalled her growing pains of being a girl. More specifically, a Black girl. A well-spoken Black girl who never seemed to fit in with her peers around her due to grammar, interests and looks. She went to speak, but her voice fell low. She then continued, “Insecurity was my biggest issue in youth, even though I come from a large family of women. Those women always told me I was beautiful and good enough. I thought of the little girls like me who didn’t even get that.” It was from that thought did The Girls Room bloom.
Briara Lowery is a 22-year-old Black woman from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She now resides in Delaware where she works for Comcast. She is also a student at Southern New Hampshire University studying Communication, a podcast lover, and a girl who loves to travel. So what makes this woman so special? Besides being a full-time worker and a student, she is on a mission to help little Black and Brown girls turn their “dreams into plans” with The Girls Room.
Lowery founded TGR on January 31st of 2016 with the hopes of establishing a foundation to create programs for girls.
When asked what sets TGR apart from other non-profits, Lowery confidently stated, “the kids have a say in their lesson plans. It’s not core, however, a lot of non-profits do not take in account what the kids want to do.” Lowery takes feedback from her girls for everything including the food she feeds them to the website design and content.
“It is a representation of who they are. I am just the vessel,” Lowery says to defend her thoughts on getting confirmation from the girls before she makes any decision. She reminds me that every day she may go in there with a plan, but it may change depending on the mindset of the girls. “As long as the space remains safe and fun, I am okay with anything they want to do.”
TGR is currently partnering with Dr. Ethel Allen School, located in the city of Philadelphia. She visits the school every Friday and works with 5th and 6th graders. “Moms love it,” Lowery says about parent’s reactions to TGR. “They say it gives them someone to look up to.”
Thus far, TGR has already accomplished so much since its’ founding. During the summer of 2017, TGR partnered with the STEMLand Science Foundation to host a Tea Party for young girls. The two non-profits integrated resources to bring a group of young girls’ food, vision boarding and science activities. Aside from that, Lowery has also done journaling with the girls, along with a trip to Linvilla Orchards.
While Lowery would love to throw more events for the girls and see TGR expand, the biggest obstacle TGR faces is lack of finances. Everything TGR does is currently supported by Lowery herself. She states that you can help her by donating to the non-profit’s GoFundMe campaign.
“The kids become your children. Some of these girls call me ‘mom.’ At first, I’m like this is a joke. But then you realize that they are really serious,” Lowery states about the bonds formed with the girls. In expressing the most important lesson her girls have taught her, she states, “They remind me that I, too, have a voice. Each of them are a specific reflection of me.”
Before bidding me a cheerful goodbye, I asked this brilliant Black girl with the good hair besides her girls, who has inspired her. She instantly answered, almost cutting me off, “OPRAH! She is an inspiration.” She continues talking about how much Oprah has accomplished, but then ends with where she began. “Yeah, people see her now, but they never seen her struggle. Girls stories relate heavily to Oprah’s stories. I can see my girls growing through that.”
She ends crediting her friends as well. “My friends, too. Most definitely. I watch their Instagram stories and I see how they are pushing the culture forward. Whether it’s you with your students, Kyshon with 100OtherHalves, Adriona traveling all the time, Aliyah introducing science to underprivileged communities or anybody else, I’m just so happy and grateful to be surrounded by Black excellence.”
Briara Lowery is a philanthropist in the making. While she is young for her age, she has mastered the elements of self-love, beauty and wisdom. She channels everything she learns on a day-to-day basis and converts it into magic. She is Black Girl Magic.