Georgia Woman Empowers Girls to Embrace Their “Flyness”

Daily Point of Light # 6019 Jun 9, 2017
Cierra "Fly" Bobo/Courtesy Cierra Bobo

Cierra “Fly” Bobo is the founder and executive director of Fly Life Inc., a nonprofit with a mission to empower girls in low-income communities through after-school programs and mentorship. She has pledged to change the outlook for the girls she serves, including changing one statistic made famous by the Dove Self-Esteem Fund, “7 in 10 girls believe they are not good enough or do not measure up in some way, including their looks, performance in school and relationships with family and friends.”

Through her work with Fly Life Inc., Cierra inspires and equips girls to be “Fly” inside and out. She was honored at the 2018 Be the Change Summit in Atlanta, Georgia, with a Daily Point of Light Award. At the ceremony, she stated in her remarks, “I’m truly honored to receive this award. The goal isn’t to win awards, but to truly be a solution and help girls around the world recognize their true greatness (their FLY).” Points of Light spoke to Cierra to learn more about her work to help underserved girls develop resiliency and leadership skills.

What inspired you start mentoring?
The reason why I started was because I wanted to be [like] the mentor that I had and wanted as a young girl. Growing up I was really insecure, because of my father’s absence due to his battle with drugs. I wanted my father’s affirmation. I turned to being violent and unsure of myself. I didn’t believe that I could be successful in life. My defining moment was when I was a teenager and I was tired of getting in trouble and being told I wouldn’t be successful. When I was in the 9th grade, I had a teacher name Mr. Jim Carter who believed in my ability as a future leader and business woman. His belief in me caused me to believe in my ability. I stayed in marketing and business classes throughout high school and earned a business scholarship and an opportunity to compete on a national level. His mentorship inspired me and encouraged me to be that for others.
Can you share an example of the kind of impact you have had the opportunity to make since deciding to help others?
There was a young lady that was a teenager that got involved in sex trafficking. A pimp was forcing her to sell her body. One night she called me and I had the opportunity to go and get her and take her to a safer environment that was far away from the pimp who threaten to kill her. We were able to get her into a group home around a safe environment. That’s something I’m grateful to be a part of.

Students at a FLY Life presentation./Courtesy Cierra Bobo
Why should others join you in your efforts at Fly Life? 
Fly Life is located in College Park, Georgia, were many households earn less $40,000 a year. Crime rates are high and sex trafficking in the metro Atlanta area is #1 in the nation. Having the opportunity to teach the hundreds of girls we mentor about their own greatness, financial literacy, and how to avoid the traps of crime and human trafficking is our proactive impact. This summer 12 of our girls are launching their first business as teenagers. This is awesome because many of these girls come from poverty; however, to empower them as young business leaders is one our goals.
How can others help?
People can volunteer to mentor by emailing us at [email protected] and/or become a monthly partner and support our initiatives
What’s next for you and Fly Life?
We are currently developing an app that empower girls on a daily basis to be FLY Inside Out.

What advice would you give your younger self? 
I would tell my younger self to keep going, because all the bad things will work out for my good. I would tell others, don’t get so caught in focusing on the problems that bother them the most, but to focus on being the solution. To just do it, just start doing whatever you can to be a solution in the earth.

Jia Gayles