SWAGG was founded in 2008 by Mrs. Shannon Chestnut, along with her co-founder and husband Mr. Dante T. Chestnut Sr. After experiencing firsthand the terror of domestic violence and child abuse in their own lives, Mr. & Mrs. Chestnut first co-founded The CHILL Program, which stand for "Creating Hope I Love Life", a non-profit violence prevention organization.
In a step to eliminate the shocking rise in domestic violence and pregnancy amongst teenage girls, Mrs. Chestnut drew from her own domestic violence background to put together an unprecedented group of women to serve as mentors to young teenage girls in need of guidance and support.
S.W.A.G.G. is a women's mentorship program welcoming young girls and teens to reach out to successful, strong women willing to share advice and the wisdom learned in their struggles and successes. Interested teen girls will be matched with a volunteer mentor whose life experiences or career will provide the greatest benefit for the young lady in need of guidance.
Both mentors and mentees can create their own unique page to share stories, hopes, and dreams with others in the program. We have created our own online sisterhood with a real closeness and family bond that many of young women may be lacking in their typical home life.
The ultimate goal of S.W.A.G.G. is to show all young women that they need not look with envy at the powerful and famous people they see, hear, or read about, they can reach or go beyond that level of success equipped with the gifts they have been provided with. This program will give these girls the tools and words of wisdom to make it with grace and hard work.
To become a part of our mentorship program, all you need to do is visit the registration page of our site and complete the simple registration form.
Teen girls must be between the ages of 12-17 to participate and permission of a parent or guardian is needed before being matched with a mentor.
All participants are also able to create their own personal online profile in our site's unique online community. Each teen will be matched with a mentor to best help support and guide her through whatever she may be experiencing in her life.
Women who become mentors as a part of the SWAGG Program will not be required to commit a large amount of time, as we understand what busy lives we all live. A feature that makes our program stand apart from other traditional mentorship programs is that our community begins as a predominantly web-based family, allowing people to connect from coast to coast and provide support even when they are not in the same room or even area code!
If you are a woman over the age of 18 who would like to volunteer your time as a SWAGG Mentor, please visit our registration page and click on the Become a Mentor Link.
All mentor candidates will be asked to complete a short application form and agree to a basic screening to insure the safety of all young women participating in our program. If you would like further details about how to become a mentor, please click here and you are interested please fill out and submit our mentorship application.
SWAGG also has an ambitious list of future plans that are currently under development!
- SWAGG Houses: As a creative solution to the stigma surrounding women and families who are victims of domestic violence often face when forced into an abuse or homeless shelter, SWAGG Houses are being coordinated to provide a safe alternative to either going to a shelter or worse yet staying in an abusive situation. The fact remains that in crucial situations where safety is of concern, mere mentorship will not be the solution. In these cases, SWAGG will provide shelter, counseling, along with assistance to bring these women out of a bad situation and on the path to a bright future.
- SWAGG/CHILL Concerts: In collaboration with The CHILL Non-profit Program, SWAGG will also plan and host a variety of fundraising concerts and music events showcasing all genres of music. These fun-filled events will offer an enjoyable way for people to come together as a community or area to make funds that are really going to make a difference in the lives of so many.
- SWAGG Camps/Women's Retreats: SWAGG will hold yearly camps/retreats for teens and mentors as an opportunity to network and socialize with groups of their peers. "What IF?" Sessions, with "IF " standing for Impact Forums, will be a major part of these events. This will be a huge brainstorming session so to speak, bringing the young women together with the ladies in attendance, giving an open mike to all in attendance. The focus of these forums will be to find new resourceful ways out of the major issues impacting women and humanity as a whole, such as domestic abuse, poverty, teen pregnancy, and child abuse, just to name a few.
- SWAGG Scholarships: SWAGG also plans to offer scholarship initiatives for young ladies involved in the program who plan to attend college and further their education. Based on factors such as GPA, attendance, and community involvement, the SWAGG board will award such scholarships to the chosen participants on a yearly basis. These scholarships will be awarded in honor of designated mentors or community leaders that stand behind and encourage the program and these young ladies to achieve at the highest possible level.
SWAGG is no longer just a word...it's a movement!