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Sisterhood of the Traveling Scarf

Sisterhood of the Traveling Scarf

Pillsbury United Communities

Program Summary

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Scarf is a youth social entrepreneurship venture that combines leadership development, skill building, mentoring and business development as a path out of poverty. The Sisterhood is a next-to-new clothing store developed by East African immigrant girls to improve their economic and career opportunities. The store concept grew out of a gender-specific weekly group dedicated to immigrant girls in 9th to 12th grade. For many girls, this was the first place they could make their voice heard. The Sisterhood will open in August 2013.

The Project Connect Competition comes at an opportune time for the Sisterhood, since the girls are highly motivated to learn social media and technology tools to launch their vision and store! The best time for youth to learn is when they are invested in a community project that they created and are motivated to succeed. The girls in this project are ready!

The Brian Coyle Center proposes to expand the reach and learning of Sisterhood’s youth entrepreneurs by investing in their technological fluency. The girls will learn how to use social, interactive, and online media to boost their learning, and produce social tools for the social good that put them in control of information responsibly, and greatly expands their literacy.

The girls will participate in a Digital Learning Lab where they will gain hands-on experience using digital tools to connect safely, collaborate with other youth entrepreneurs, and communicate effectively via the web. The girls will deepen their understanding of how to control their information and manage privacy and security. They will use web-based programs to create social messages that support girls as leaders, mentors, community organizers, and entrepreneurs. As the girls build their leadership, they will initiate community projects to improve conditions for others and create a more equitable society.


Corporate employees, small business owners, and digital media specialists will be recruited as volunteer trainers to teach the girls. The volunteer trainers will lead the girls through a process of identifying the most pertinent topics to be addressed through the Digital Learning Lab, and the follow-up activities that will build on their learning and help them launch the Sisterhood of the Traveling Scarf through digital media.

The Digital Learning Lab will take place once a week over a 6-week period to allow the girls time to digest what they are learning, and expand their learning through subsequent sessions. It also provides time to practice new skills in real-time, and bring questions and experiences back to their mentors/trainers for feedback and discussion. Through a partnership with Augsburg College, the project will continue after the end of the grant period with a team of marketing students from the college serving as mentors.

-Enroll youth participants
-Work with the girls to prepare their learning goals and technology outcomes to be achieved.
-Receive commitments from business and technology mentors and teachers with which to partner
-Begin the Digital Learning Lab the week of July 15th.

-Hold weekly Learning Labs
-Team mentors with committees of girls on technology projects they want to complete.
-Follow through on all technology projects to align with a Sisterhood of the Traveling Scarf -Grand Opening in September.

-All technology projects completed and Grant Opening held the week of September 9th.
-A celebration with all mentors, teachers and girls will be held to recognize project accomplishments and view the digital media produced by the girls.
-A project evaluation will be conducted and goal setting for the next year.
-The Sisterhood will be introduced to their Augsburg College student marketing team to continue with the project and achieve goals.

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