Get to know IWF Grant Partner Tanager Place, who received grant funding from IWF for the PINQ Project in 2018.
What is the PINQ Project?
The PINQ (Powerful, Intelligent, Noble Queens) Project is a mentoring program for young African American women in Linn and Johnson Counties. We incorporate peer mentoring as well as a group that focuses on building relationships within the group and in the community. Our mission is to support each participant by teaching self-sustaining life lessons, communications skills, and how to plan for their future. We strive to connect each girl with as many positive, young black mentors as we can to show that it’s possible to not only succeed, but also thrive as a young African American woman in Iowa.
We formally meet two times a month, every other Sunday from 2-5. During our first meeting, we hold discussions with special speakers from the community. Topics range from financial literacy to exploring career options and preparing for college. The second time we meet is usually our outing day. We strive to go on at least one college tour per six-month period, but we also visit women-led businesses and plan community service projects.
The Circle of Mentorship
PINQ participants are all paired with African American women from the community who are there to listen, explore sensitive life topics, and help the girls develop a powerful sense of self-advocacy. Most of our mentors are students at the University of Iowa and either have an advanced degree or are working towards an advanced degree. Our expectation for our mentors is to make contact with their mentees at least three times a month. For our peer mentors, we encourage relationships between the pairs during and outside of our meeting times. As the girls progress in The PINQ project, they later become mentors themselves as they gain leadership skill and communication skills. It is our hope the girls of the PINQ Project can build lasting relationships and skills that will assist them throughout their entire lives, and pass along the joy of helping others unlock their potential.