Local teenager seeks to help women and girls here and in Africa



Cherie Animashaun, a junior at Niles West High School, dedicated her teenage years to helping young people and empowering women.

Animashaun, a 17 year old former Evanston resident who recently moved to Skokie, has always had a passion for mental health education and awareness, expressed through her extracurricular tutoring, volunteering with local youth. and now providing mental health resources.

“I know a lot of people my age have mental health issues so I’m still trying to work on that,” she said. “Any project I can do that raises awareness or brings a strategy, I want to do it. “

After an internship this summer with Kan-Win, an organization working to end gender-based violence, especially for women and children in Asian-American communities, Aminashaun decided she wanted to work in her own community to support young people. women, so she started Her Rising Initiative, a nonprofit organization that provides resources to an orphanage in Nigeria and partners with programs in Evanston and Chicago to raise students, female athletes and immigrants.

Journaling and writing have always been an integral part of Aminashaun’s life, and her idea was that it could also help other young women have a space where they could be guided to share their thoughts and feel supported – the premise of his Compass books.

Animashaun sells two versions of the books – an adult edition and a teen edition – with all proceeds dedicated to its nonprofit organization, which is not registered with the IRS, so purchases are not tax deductible. ‘tax. Both books have built-in planners, but the adult edition has a budget tracker, a grocery list, and more career focus, while still offering activities like coloring pages.

The teen edition is more interactive, with much of the same content but focusing on “tween questions”. Animashaun writes in the description on the Her Rising Initiative website: “At one point, I got tired of seeing adults creating content for teens that didn’t represent us or really interested us. The following book is something I would have liked to have had a few years ago, so I’m glad it’s in your hands now.

Animashaun has partnered with Girls Play Sports (GPS) where she is a youth coach and board member. GPS empowers young women in Evanston through sport, encourages them to keep playing and recruits young female athletes like Aminashaun as leaders.

At events where GPS sells the books, it receives 50% of the profits. She has also partnered with the Little Saints orphanage in Nigeria; Aminashaun will use the proceeds to purchase resources such as menstrual products and food to send to help those in need.

She’ll be selling her books at the Evanston Made Holiday Market, and they’re available on her online store, as well as Amazon.

“I have undergone quite a few personal transformations in my short life,” Animashaun said. “From the girl who put her thoughts aside and constantly let people walk on her to a young woman who worked hard to get her beliefs and goals across. My wish for this initiative is to fund and create more resources for the girls around me, as well as for the girls across the horizons.

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