Zoe Terry’ s first day time of pre-kindergarten at Miami Nation Day School in 2010 didn’ to exactly go well. “ I had been bullied because of the color of my epidermis and because my hair was therefore puffy, ” says Terry, who have arrived to find out she was the just black girl in her course. “ I didn’ t would like that to stop me, ” the lady says.
Not long after, Terry— who’ s now an exceptionally polite and energetic 11-year-old— informed her mother, Nakia Bowling, about a concept she had: to give out plaything of color to other black plus brown girls who were less fortunate compared to she was, so they could really feel beautiful and less alone. 6 years later that idea is continuing to grow into Zoe’ s Dolls , which blogposts Toys For Tots-style collection receptacles at public sites in Atlanta, Mississippi, and Texas, in addition to Terry’ s home state of Sarasota. “ We already have a list of regarding 60 places just in Arkansas alone, ” says Bowling, who seem to handles the day-to-day administrative responsibilities and runs a Zoe’ ersus Dolls after-school program in Arkansas. So far the program has distributed nearly 20, 000 dolls to four, 000 girls in the U. Ersus., Haiti, and Zambia.
“ Anywhere a girl needs a doll, we all deliver to, ” Terry states. “ It doesn’ t issue how little they are, how older they are. ” She and the girl mother soon expanded Zoe’ s i9000 Dolls to include a Girl Ambassadors program , which undertakes community projects. This season they started Girl Fit Encounter, to teach Miami’ s young nonwhite girls about healthy eating habits, plus Love Letters to Black Ladies, which solicits stories, poems, plus notes of encouragement from grown ups to send to young women of colour nationwide.
Everything work attracted the eye of the Nickelodeon network, which this year selected Terry as one of four recipients of its Assisting and Leading Others (HALO) honours. “ Zoe really exemplified everything that we think our audience may relate to, ” says Jay Schmalholz, senior vice president for reside events and unscripted development in Nickelodeon and executive producer from the awards. “ Just her maturation and her level of confidence plus her playfulness and her power. ”
With the award, Terry received a $10, 000 scholarship or grant and a $20, 000 grant, which usually she’ ll put toward giving out more dolls and producing her very own proprietary line, Simply Zoe. Every doll will come with a book that informs Terry’ s story, and for everyone sold, Zoe’ s Dolls can give another away.
Compared to the work Terry is doing on Zoe’ s Dolls, school politics appear irrelevant these days. “ People understand that certain things won’ t trouble me as much, ” she states. “ Like, if you make a imply comment, it won’ t trouble me, because I have so much self-confidence in myself. ”