The Harvest

January 2021

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Greetings From the Founder & Executive Director

Happy New Year!

During this season, I pray that everyone is doing well and staying safe. I think we can all agree that these past several months have been a lot. We have been forced to deal with an unprecedented pandemic, social injustices, remote learning, the election, and a shift to a virtual mentoring model. Trying to balance it all has been a challenge. What has worked well for me is setting an intention to maintain a posture of gratitude. One of the many things I am grateful for is Fertile Ground’s ability to continue providing our members with engaging learning and mentoring experiences. Yes, the pandemic forced us to pivot to a virtual programming model, but our mentees, mentors, parents, Board members and donors all responded positively, and we made the necessary adjustments to keep our program moving forward. I am especially grateful to our mentees for their flexibility and resilience. Their whole world shifted in March as they adjusted to online leaning and dealt with not being able to see their friends and connect with their Fertile Ground sisters and mentors. We listened to their ideas and carefully crafted a schedule of events to meet their academic needs as well as their social interests.

In this edition, we highlight several people who help make our Fertile Ground magic happen. I am grateful to each of them for their commitment to our program. ~ Sandy

Board Member Spotlight

Name: Marilyn Foust

Occupation: Retired Teacher/Founder of IQ Tutoring 101

How long have you been a part of FG: 17 years

What inspired you to become a mentor and then a board member?

Fertile Ground’s purpose statement resonated with me because service learning, education, and becoming world changers are the core aspects of the organization. As an educator, my aim is to nurture, lead, teach and motivate young people to become responsible citizens. Fertile Ground appealed to me because it provides a foundation for young women to learn the values of selfless service, accountability, and responsibility. As one who believes in giving back to the community, as a mentor, Fertile Ground presented opportunities for me to be an active participant in nurturing young women’s moral, social and spiritual development. As a board member, it provided other opportunities to share my ideas, vision, and insights to enhance its impact on young women residing in the local community and vicinity.

What do you want people to know about FG?

Fertile Ground is a high- quality mentoring program that nurtures and supports young women through educational workshops, skill building activities, the arts, and college tours. It teaches young women to be community minded, develop a sense of service to the community, and pursue their dreams. Our girls form an electrifying sisterhood in which they can share their experiences with each other and inspire others to be their best and achieve their goals.

What is your hope for FG in the future?

It is my hope that Fertile Ground becomes an embedded resource for young women in every community across the United States. I think it would change the course of America’s future by providing young women from diverse backgrounds unlimited opportunities to make a difference in society.

New Program Director

Name: Arin Johnson

What inspired you to become a part of Fertile Ground?

I wanted to use my skills to help FG pour into young women the way my mentors have poured into me.

What impact do you feel FG has on the members who participate?

FG is a driving force behind connecting girls to a network that will serve them and support them for years to come in more ways than one!

What would you say to others who may be contemplating becoming a part of our program?

Join in how you can! There's no one size fits all to volunteering or participating! Let your unique talents shine through FG.

New Fertile Ground Mentee

Name: Sydney Barnes (8th Grader)

What inspired you to join Fertile Ground?

My inspiration came from my mother. The work they do with the community and the various opportunities provided for young girls.

What do you like most about being part of the program?

My favorite part of the program is having fun, doing some cool activities, and meeting my fellow mentees. I also love how the workshops are geared towards current events.

What has been your favorite activity so far this year?

My favorite activity so far is playing BINGO with the residents at Delmar Gardens, which is a retirement community. It makes me feel good when I can give back to the elderly by winning a prize for them.

What would you say to girls who may be considering joining Fertile Ground?

I would tell girls that they will be able to participate in fun activities, form a sisterhood with other girls and share each other experiences. They will also get to meet powerful women who can inspire them to meet their goals.

Workshop Facilitator and FG Partner

Name: Torion Harden

Occupation: Owner of BE! Creative Arts Center, LLC

Who or what inspired you to open BE! Creative Arts Center

The creative arts have always been a part of my life. My mother does arts and crafts and loves to listen to music and dance. My father loved to dance. My son is a visual artist and my daughter is a singer and songwriter. Additionally, I have been a member of various dance groups, provided choreography services, served as a dance ministry instructor, and was an actor in a few church plays. I love going to concerts, plays and poetry events, and listening to music. I have written and self-published two books and a companion journal. While I chose to have a professional career in IT and leadership for over 30 years, my evenings were always filled with the creative arts.

How does BCAC support the community?

BCAC supports the community by sharing the arts through creative experiences. We also participate in community events, give to charitable organizations through contributions and fundraisers, and volunteer our time and services. And in doing so, we provide an outlet for people to release, relax and have fun. We provide therapy. We motivate, inspire and uplift. We bring joy, happiness, and laughter. We turn “I can’t” into “I can” and build confidence. We spread love.

Why do you feel it's important for young girls, like our Fertile Ground members, to engage in the arts?

Engaging in the arts is important because it can help in all areas of development. This includes, but is not limited to, the development of personal expression and self-awareness, stress relief, emotional well-being, experimentation and problem solving. One can represent and share experiences they cannot verbalize through the arts. Inventions are created through the arts. Physical and mental development take place through the arts. Social skills are developed through the arts by working and interacting with others through the creative process.

Event Highlights

Fertile Ground is proud to offer young women experiences that can impact them for many years to come. Check out these event photo highlights that show off the Girl Takeover!


  • Virtual Bingo with residents of Delmar Gardens Assisted Living Facility
  • Your Vote, Your Voice Poll Volunteer Event
  • A Beautiful Mind/Study Skills Workshop
  • Canvas Creations Virtual Paint Party
  • FG Meet Up Event
  • Swearing-in Ceremony for the Honorable Judge Veronica Cope

News and Announcements

~60 Day Challenge~

Fertile Ground has partnered with one of our sponsors to help you reach your fitness goals for 2021!

The LMD Team provides a dynamic, creative, and results-oriented opportunity for clients to share a coaching experience with other highly talented individuals. The supportive and challenging learning environment provides a powerful experience for clients, often creating long-term relationships and working partnerships. The coaching provided includes help with vision and creating fitness and health goals. Virtual coaching platforms used will include social media Facebook Private Groups as well as Zoom.

Gain insight from others in a supportive format :

  • Set goals for the future (health, family)
  • Organize your time and resources
  • Create a supportive network through participating in group chats, calls etc.
  • Simplify your life while learning new strategies to make it better
  • Increase your satisfaction with your family life
  • Receive accountability from group members

Achieve your health and fitness goals for a happier and healthier life. Let us do the thinking, planning, and strategizing. All you need to do is work the plan and #LiveMoreDaily.

Who's Ready to "Werk It" in 2021?!

We are counting down to our "Werk It" Dance Fitness session this Saturday, January 9th! Our one-hour fitness session from 12:15 pm- 1:15 pm will be facilitated by Ms.Torion Harden of Be Creative Arts Center. The virtual dance session will be open to others so feel free to invite family and friends to join us. Registration is required. Click the link below to register and you will receive a link by Friday to join. Read more about the session below, then be sure to click the link and register. Let's get ready to WERK!

We invite everyone to come and experience a creative way to get an intense cardio fitness workout while enjoying dance at the same time. Dance Fitness blends choreography and fitness into one. Enjoy the music. Enjoy the moves. And have LOTS of fun!

Click here to register:

Upcoming Events

January 2021
  • WERK IT! ~ Fitness Workshop (1/9)
  • A Call to Action ~ Cyberbullying Workshop (1/23)

February 2021

  • Digital Toolkit ~ Digital Editing/YouTube Channel Creation Workshop (2/13)
  • We Serve ~ Virtual Armed Forces Expo (2/27)

March 2021

  • Top Chef ~ Culinary Arts Workshop (3/13)
  • The Talk ~ A Conversation with Local Leaders (3/27)

April 2021

  • Jazzy Jewelry ~ Beaded Jewelry Workshop (4/10)

May 2021

  • Level Up ~ Financial Literacy Workshop (5/8)
  • Fertile Ground Homecoming Celebration (5/22)

Let's Rock!

The Fertile Ground program is not possible without the generous financial support of our donors. Every tax-deductible financial gift makes a significant impact in advancing Fertile Ground’s mission to nurture the lives of young women while serving the communities in which we live. Please sow a seed today at donate.

As our program grows, so does our need for committed professionals to help support our mission. Join us by serving in one of the following life-fulfilling roles: program volunteer, mentor or board member!

Visit or email us at to learn more and submit an application!

Fertile Ground NEYW, Inc.

Fertile Ground's mission is to deliver a high quality mentoring program that supports young women in developing positive self-images and inspires them to be extraordinary individuals.

Founded in September 2003, Fertile Ground, NEYW, Inc. began its program with ten fifth grade girls and eight committed teachers serving as mentors in partnership with Nesbit Elementary in Gwinnett County, Georgia. With the focus of developing future leaders at an early age, bi-monthly meetings were held in the media center with topics ranging from developing positive self-esteem and goal setting to effective money management.