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wot4Tuff Cookiez is a non-profit organization whose mission is to provide guidance, support and encouragement to young women. Through exposure, education, and character building, Tuff Cookiez will provide young women with the resources, skills and confidence that may be lacking in their communities.

Dorothy Burston, founder of Tuff Cookiez, has always given her assistance to those in need, especially young women. The idea of Tuff Cookiez has been a vision she has had for some time. “I believe it’s essential as young women endure challenges in life that they are equipped with the right set of tools to develop a strong sense of who they are and who they desire to be,” said Burston.

Carol Weaver, deputy executive director of Development and Community Outreach for Detroit Public Schools, aware of Burston’s vision, informed her that Cody High School was in dire need of a girls mentoring program. With that being said, Tuff Cookiez was born.

Tuff Cookiez’ first event, “Women of Tomorrow,” was held on Monday, June 6 at Cody High School. The panel consisted of successful professional women with Detroit roots. The goal of the dialogue and discussion was to motivate and inspire the students of Cody High School with people they could relate to.

The panelists were Aireal Taylor, founder of Kids Cab Transportation Service; Blair Sandlain, CEO of PINK Elephant; Nailah Ellis-Brown, founder and CEO of Ellis Infinity LLC; Royda Urey, CEO of Valiant Public Relations; and Rebekah R. Coleman, attorney and owner of Law Offices Of Rebekah R. Coleman PLLC. The moderator for the event was radio and TV personality Paigion with performances by LaBritney and DMK.

The panelists shared their challenges and inspirations, as well as valuable moments that they’ve experienced on their journey to success.

Burston meets with the girls of Cody High School once or twice a week at lunchtime at the school. She also takes them on social outings. “I have to give a special thanks to Mrs. Nolton, community schools site director at Cody High School for being so welcoming and helpful. She loves what I’m doing for the girls and I appreciate her contribution and involvement with Tuff Cookiez,” Burston said.

As stated, Burston enjoys working with the young women of Cody High School. However, Tuff Cookiez doesn’t stop there. She plans on mentoring many more young women in the inner city as well as the surrounding area, but she can’t do it alone. She is looking for more innovative women to be a part of the Tuff Cookiez team.

Tuff Cookiez’ mantra is: “I can’t love until I love myself. I can’t respect others if I don’t have respect for myself. I can’t appreciate your worth if I don’t appreciate my worth.”

To learn more about Tuff Cookiez, email tuffcookiez07@gmail.com and follow @Tuff_Cookiez on Twitter.

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