This story is taken from Milwaukee Magazine‘s 2019 Charitable Giving Guide. We found 20 deserving nonprofits for you to consider supporting this holiday season.
LaRia Brent is the term “grassroots” personified. She had always been an informal big sister to cousins and girls in her neighborhood. Eight years ago, she began working at a youth ministry. “I realized I was a natural at it, that I had a heart for mentoring young women,” says Brent, 31, a first-generation college graduate (Concordia University Wisconsin with a bachelor’s in business management). She currently works as support staff at a private Christian school and organizing spa parties for kids.
Three years ago, she began coaching cheerleaders, then offering schools free workshops in the cafeteria during lunch hour to help girls find their identity, talents and purpose. Today, Royals Mentoring, Inc., has contracts with three schools, working with 300 children and young adults ages 10 to 25 each year.
Brent has also introduced a Royal Tour, a daylong conference for youth that has been staged at several schools. She intends to launch a boys’ program next year.
“Whether it’s direct mentoring one-on-one or a group session, I want to help girls make better decisions,” Brent says, “to be everything they’re created to be.”