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The ‘Black Girls Soar Back-to-School Drive-Thru’ went down for the second year in a row in Columbus, Ohio.

Councilmember Priscilla Tyson kicked off the Aug. 15 event for the first time since last year in order to provide young Black women and girls with the supplies they need to succeed as educational disparities between them and their peers have heightened since the onslaught of the pandemic.

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Mother of six and Columbus native Cherie Caldwell was one of the event’s volunteers this year. According to her, it was important to give back to the community that helped raise her.

“I could be home chilling on the couch, but instead, I’d rather be out making a difference,” Caldwell told local news outlet 10 WBNS. Regarding the young Black girls that the back-to-school drive supports, the mother emphasized, “They’re our future. They’re our present if I’m being honest.”

“We face so many obstacles already,” Cadwell noted. “It’s like the deck is stacked against them so you have to show them that they matter. You have to show them the sky is the limit.”

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10 WBNS detailed that over 500 families benefited from Saturday’s event. They took home some of the various goods available at the drive-thru, including science projects, fresh food, and bags of schools supplies.

Columbus City Council President Shannon Hardin emphasized that Tyson’s annual event helps lessen the barriers Black girls in Columbus will face as they resume classes on August 26.

“If Black girls do well, we as a community do well. So really this is for all of us,” Hardin explained. “[We are] making sure that our Black girls are able to stand up, soar, and succeed at school. To know that they can get any job that they want. Even a police chief or a city council president or a mayor. So, we really are empowering them so they can make our entire community better.”

Columbus City Schools Superintendent Talisa Dixon also attended the event, according to Spectrum News 1.

“We want to make sure that our students have the support, all the safety nets that they need from school supplies to just inspiring black leaders, female leaders,” Dixon said that day. “It shows the power of Columbus City Schools and the power of partnership. There’s so many people that have their arms around our students.”

With the motto of “Crowned to Succeed,” Black Girls Soar supports African-American girls aged 11 – 22 “in the areas of leadership, critical thinking, professional development, financial literacy, self-care, self-love, health and wellness.”

Read more about the organization here.

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