Demoiselle 2 Femme (D2F), French for “Young Ladies to Women” is a 501-(c)-(3) not-for-profit organization with a rich history of providing community-based programs for girls on the far south side of Chicago as well as the south suburbs. The mission of D2F is to provide holistic services, education, instruction and training to assist adolescent females in a successful transition to womanhood. In fulfilling its mission, D2F has provided prevention and education programs to more than 2,000 girls ages 13-19 in the Chicagoland community for more than 14 years. Through various programs girls are challenges to utilize critical thinking skills in operation of one of the greatest powers humans possess- the power of choice.
The community-based model developed by D2F is an approach which encourages the avoidance of at-risk behaviors as a strategy for success while equipping them with the hope of accomplishing their educational and professional goals through self-discipline, hard work, commitment and service to their community. D2F also provides an array of prevention programs which address: HIV/AIDS, obesity, teen pregnancy, substance abuse and violence, as well as money management, leadership development, college access and STEM (Science Technology Engineering Mathematics) centered programming for girls. Through the conduits of workshops, service learning, cultural activities, college visits, college admission assistance, personal development and leadership tours, young ladies are empowered to develop academic, social and career goals that will challenge them to excel beyond their limitations and gain social mobility through self-sufficiency.
The vast experience and diversity among D2F and its collaborative partners demonstrate a grassroots network of organizations committed to addressing issues faced by Chicago youth. The successful efforts of D2F have been featured in several newspapers in the Chicagoland area, as well as a local PBS television special. Through strategic planning and community organizing D2F serves as the convening organization of the South Side Coalition on Urban Girls (SSCUG) and the Partnership for a Better Roseland. D2F’s success is largely due to partnerships which include Chicago Public Schools, Illinois School District 205 and 206, Illinois Department of Human Services, Cook County Sheriff’s Department, the 34th Ward and the 9th Ward of Chicago, Cook County Health Department, and a host of other faith and community-based organizations and stakeholders.
Despite the socio-economic plight of the communities served, D2F has continued to affect the lives of at-risk girls through positive youth development programs. The young ladies that participated in a D2F program are represented at over 100 colleges, universities and professional schools across the country. The alumni include the current D2F Program Director, a physician, dentist, a host of teachers, information technology contractors, social workers and many other professions. Currently, 40% of the staff who are employed by Demoiselle 2 Femme, NFP are former participants who were once deemed “at-risk,” but completed the program, obtained a 4-year college degree and now work to change the lives of girls within their community.
Our vision is for Demoiselle 2 Femme, NFP to be recognized as a model for social change through the spiritual and personal development of young women who positively impact the world as future leaders. This vision is grounded in our philosophy which states:
We believe the empowerment, education and holistic instruction of girls is necessary for the future development of women who will ultimately operate in their purpose and embrace their destiny…a whole woman is the sum of many parts.