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Book club started by Dayton woman helps young black girls

Daniels, who attended two of the clubs, said the students not only discussed high school, but also their families, friendships and issues they face. Additionally, Hogue shares experiences from his own life so students can build on them and learn from them.

“Her book makes you feel not alone. She’s been through everything we’re going through in high school right now,” Daniels said.

The book club — which is run by Hogue’s nonprofit, After School Special — often brings together girls who weren’t already friends. Now she sees attendees talking together in the hallways, Hogue said.

“I really hope they get a brotherhood out of it,” she said.

Last year, Daniels also attended Hogue’s first Entrepreneur Conference for Black Girls, where she received a $1,000 college scholarship. Participants met with black women entrepreneurs, created their own plans and presented pitches in an effort to win scholarships, Hogue said. The conference returns this summer on a larger scale.

Hogue hopes she gives students the books, groups and talks that would have helped her when she was growing up. As an educator at the same school she graduated from, Hogue sees many of the same issues she witnessed back then. Now she arbitrates these problems and she sees that many students also want to solve them.

She covers many topics in her books, including forgiveness, relationships, boundaries, dignity, insecurities and more. Her books and the conversations she leads help students navigate and articulate what they are going through.

Hogue wants her initiatives to provide space for black girls to speak out while raising awareness of the differences in how they are treated.

“Kids of color should be given the opportunity to have the platform to create their own opportunities,” Hogue said. “That’s what I stress the most with my daughters – you don’t have to wait for someone else. You can do it yourself.”

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