Marines provide guidance and encouragement to young women during mentoring weekend

Marines Mentor Women

SgtMaj Robin Fortner, Sergeant Major of 4th Battalion, MCRD Parris Island, motivates participants in the second annual "Girls Who Rule the World " mentoring weekend before a 1.3-mile hike. Marines emphasized inner strength and confidence.

As part of the Marine Corps' national partnership with the Steve and Marjorie Harvey Foundation, six senior female Marines from Marine Corps Recruiting Command engaged 100 young women from the Atlanta metropolitan area in the second annual "Girls Who Rule the World" mentoring weekend in Stone Mountain, Georgia.

Throughout the three-day program, created to enhance the development of young women, the teenagers, along with their Marine Corps mentors, participated in financial literacy workshops, self-esteem-building panel discussions, a movie screening about women in the media and a mountain hike. 

LtCol Keisha Flagg, one of the Marine mentors for the program, had the opportunity to give the young women some key words of advice as a panelist on the "Love What You Got" panel.  Sharing the stage with American Idol contestant, Kimberley Locke, and Essence Magazine editor-at-large Mikki Taylor, LtCol Flagg emphasized the importance of looking within yourself to build inner strength and confidence, and spoke about how her mother served as a role model for her when she was growing up.

An inspiring buildup took place when the young women were preparing to tackle the steep 1.3-mile hike up Stone Mountain for the "Networking Your Way to the Top" event. Before they set out, SgtMaj Robin Fortner from Fourth Recruit Training Battalion, a female-only training battalion, led a boot camp-style warm-up of side-straddle hops, push-ups and mountain climbers that even Mrs. Harvey herself enjoyed.

As a result of the encouragement and motivation from the Marines leading the hike, all 100 of the young women remained dedicated to accomplishing their mission as each forged ahead to the top.

Through sharing valuable lessons about the importance of hard work, discipline and always seeking a challenge, the Marines clearly touched the lives of these young women. They walked away from the closing ceremony of their mentoring weekend empowered and equipped with the tools to become the leaders of tomorrow.