Zoe’s Dolls on FOX Channel 7 News Story by Lisa Petrillo, on February 3, 2022.
Following is the article from the CBS News Miami website:
Miami Proud: Teen Promotes Self Love & Empowerment For Young Black Girls Through Doll Donations
MIAMI (CBSMiami) – In the North Miami home office of Zoe’s Dolls, there are dolls of all sizes, for big and little girls, ready for a new owner.
Chief Executive Officer Zoe Terry, 15, heads the nonprofit organization and those toys are the tools of her trade.
“Our mission is that every little girl deserves a doll that reflects their image, particularly Black girls, to let them know they are beautiful just the way they are,” explained Terry.
The organization stems from a troubling incident at school when Terry was a shy five-year-old.
“A lot of girls would bully me, make fun of my skin color and call me names and ask me why my hair is so puffy and why is my skin so dark? They made me feel bad about what I look like,” Terry said.
Then, an idea was born. Having a beautiful doll that resembles them, would inspire self-worth and confidence in Black girls.
With a supportive mother, who always encouraged her to give back, it was game on.
“I started to ask people to donate Black dolls, and 10 years later I’ve given out over 50,000 dolls to girls all over and expanded into seven empowering programs,” said Terry.
Hosting events, opening a chapter at her school – Miami Country Day – and selling merchandise to fuel programs to launch other girls’ dreams too.
“The girlpreneur program where we take girls’ missions and their dream, and pair them with a mentor and bring them to fruition,” said Terry.
The organization reaches far beyond her school and South Florida with chapters in Mississippi, Texas, and Georgia and donations all over the world to countries in Africa, the Netherlands, Jamaica, Cuba, and Haiti.
That reach includes some star-power called Serena Williams.
Her branded doll Qai Qai (which is a character of Williams’ daughter’s doll) made a donation to Zoe’s Dolls having connected with them through Instagram.
The mission and message remain simple.
“I can put a smile on a little girl’s face and let her know she’s beautiful regardless of what anyone else says,” Terry said.
No longer a shy kindergartener, Terry loves debate class and said she may even run for office one day.
Her advice to other kids?
“It doesn’t matter how small or how weird people may think it is – if you think it’s going to make an impact – do it. Do not let anyone tell you you can’t do something!”
Direct link to the article and video: https://miami.cbslocal.com/2022/02/03/miami-proud-teen-promotes-self-love-empowerment-doll-donations/