It is common to see people around you with some sort of electronic gadget at hand.  In this high tech society smart phones, iPads, and video games have overshadowed physical exercise.


The health and fitness event included yoga and zumba activities.

According to first lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move website, nearly 40 percent of African-Americans and Hispanics are considered obese or overweight.  Issues like obesity or the lack of awareness about proper nutrition are impacting young African-American girls between the ages of 11 and 17 according to Shantelle Dockett,  founder of The Society for Girl’s. Dockett said the current generation will die before their parents because of the lack of exercise and proper nutrition. “We looked at some of statistics around young girls, and young children in general from 11 to 17, and realized that a lot of them were overweight and were unhealthy,” Dockett said.

The Society for Girl’s, a non-profit organization designed to help young African-American girls reach their full potential.  The group is comprised of 25 volunteers who travel throughout Maryland and Washington, D.C. to educate and empower young African-American girls to make a positive impact in society and themselves.

“The society was started five years ago. All of my friends were young professionals and we just wanted to do something to give back to minority women and girls,” Dockett said.

She said she started by using a How to start a Nonprofit for Dummies book. “I went through every checklist on that, and it just so happens that it kept growing and growing.”

The group hosted a health and fitness event Sept. 20 at the Martin Luther King Library in Northwest D.C. Over 40 girls participated in the event. They learned how to eat properly, and participated in yoga and zumba activities.

Kai Steward, of District Heights, Md., participated in the health summit. “Before I used to eat a lot of chips and dry goods but now I’m going to start eating salads, and I will try peppers and try to be more fit,” she said.

The girls walk away from the event empowered, with a more can do attitude, and with free t-shirts, yoga mats, water bottles, and knapsacks. “We are strong supporters of girls, and we feel like if we can empower the girl, all the generations after her will be empowered because that’s how African women, minority women take care of our family, so we felt if we can plant a seed in one girl then all generations will be just as successful and empowered.” Dockett said.

To learn more about the Society for Girl’s, go to