My Daughter's Keeper, Inc. (MDK), a non-profit organization located in North Brunswick, New Jersey, was founded in 2002 to serve the needs of mothers and daughters throughout New Jersey and nationally.
Founder and CEO, Stephanie M. Clark holds significant credentials in Business Administration and non-profit Marketing, however, her greatest contributions towards the birth of MDK were inspired by the love that she shares with her daughter, Daphne. Ms. Clark's inspirations also transpire from her mother who raised 13 children as a single mother.
Realizing a void in Daphne's life five years ago, Ms. Clark vowed to clarify her love for Daphne by forming My Daughter's Keeper. She set out to tackle the struggles of not only she and Daphne's relationship, but also the lives of as many other mothers and daughters that she could reach. MDK strives to help mothers and daughters identify realistic solutions and achievable approaches to problems they face in their daily lives and to strengthen their relationships.
Programs such as MDK's ReadwRiters Club, New Lease on Life, Counseling, Mentoring, and Sister's Exchange set out to reach mothers/caregivers, preteen and teenage girls from all socioeconomic backgrounds throughout New Jersey.
The ReadwRiters Club is one of MDK's educational and youth development programs for girls age 8-17 who love to read and have a passion for writing. Monthly club meetings take place at MDK's Educational Development Center in North Brunswick, NJ from 1:00pm to 3:00pm. Club meetings are facilitated by MDK volunteers. To date over thirty (30) young ladies have regularly participated in monthly club meetings since the programs inception in January 2003.
In November 2003, My Daughter's Keeper, Inc. formed a partnership with the New Jersey State Parole Board to present a pilot program called "A New Lease on Life". This training and support program works to facilitate the successful re-entry of women parolees into society by providing them with both practical and professional skills. Services focus on life skills, job skills and placement, counseling, resources support, connection to housing, substance abuse treatment as well as literacy training and education.
Ms. Clark realized that communication and parenting skills are a critical component in building healthy relationships between mothers and daughters and thus formed a counseling program staffed by licensed, certified mental health specialists including psychologists, social workers and family therapists. Individual and family counseling is offered in eight (8) week sessions for one hour each week. MDK Counseling services also address issues of daughters dealing with behavioral or anger management problems. In addition to counseling services, Ms. Clark personally provides one-on-one mentoring and coaching to mothers seeking effective parenting approaches to strengthen their relationships with their daughters.
MDK's mentoring program engages girls in interactive activities which exposes them to positive experiences and helps them develop essential skills for planning their futures. Trained mentors commit to spending a minimum of two hours per week with their mentees. Other mentoring activities include the Real Rap Sessions for Teen Girls Only, Career Mentoring Day, Free to Love Me School Tour, and the Passions to Professions (P2P) Summer Enrichment Program, all which set out to help girls explore talents and interest, career opportunities and self esteem issues.
MDK's community outreach program, the Sister's Exchange, distributes donated clothing items such as business and casual attire, shoes, handbags, belts, coats and hats to women and girls in disadvantaged communities. At least once a quarter MDK conducts a fair to facilitate distribution. MDK also partners with other non-profit organizations as well as city and township governments to provide clothing to women and girls within their communities.
My Daughter's Keeper, Inc.'s continued efforts to remained committed to serving mothers & daughters, girls and women throughout the state of New Jersey and ultimately nationally and internationally has honorably tagged Ms. Clark recipient of numerous awards, including recognition from the American Association of University Women, in 2003 and of the Russ Berrie Unsung Hero Award in 2004.
My Daughter's Keeper, Inc. is hosting its 5th Anniversary Gala Benefit on Friday, September 21, 2007 at the Forsgate County Club in Monroe Township, NJ. The Benefit will celebrate the non-profit's milestones and those who contributed to helping the agency soar to great heights since its inception five years ago.
Ms. Clark is currently writing two books. She is co-authoring one book with her teenage daughter, "Seeing Me Through You: A Relationship Guide for Mothers and Daughters", which is scheduled for release in Spring 2008. Her second book is a practical guide to starting a non-profit organization which is scheduled for release in December 2007.
Planning for MDK's future to sustain operations and program delivery, Ms. Clark is always proactively seeking opportunities to ensure the longevity of the organization. In April 2005, she established MDK Media, Inc., a for-profit media and publishing company. MDK Media plans to publish books and a magazine written by and for mothers and daughters beginning in 2008. A television talk show targeting mothers and daughters is also planned for 2008. Twenty-five (25%) percent of MDK Media's revenue will be donated to My Daughter's Keeper, Inc. to help sustain operations.
This Spring MDK will announce the official launch of its National Expansion Program which currently has MDK affiliates being established in the St. Petersburg/Tampa Bay, FL area, Detroit, MI and Rockford, IL. It is Ms. Clark's goal to start My Daughter's Keeper, Inc.'s Affiliate programs in hundreds of communities nationally and abroad.
For more information on about My Daughter's Keeper, Inc. visit www.mydaughterskeeper.org or call (732) 565-9313.