You may be familiar with Mary J. Blige's work as a singer/songwriter, with hits like "Real Love, "No More Drama," and "Just Fine." You may also have seen her work as an actress in movies (I Can Do Bad All By Myself) and her personal appearances on TV shows such as Extreme Makeover: Home Edition and Entourage. But did you know about her charity work? Check out FFAWN, The Mary J. Blige and Steve Stoute Foundation for the Advancement of Women Now, Inc. In their own words:
"The Mary J. Blige and Steve Stoute Foundation for the Advancement of Women Now, Inc. (FFAWN) was created and funded in 2007 by recording artist Mary J. Blige and marketing pioneer Steve Stoute in order to use Mary's personal story and success to inspire women from all walks of life to reach their individual potential. Mary hopes to help these women overcome the difficulties they face in their lives and to provide them with the drive and confidence to pursue – and realize – their goals and dreams."
This is the kind of thing that makes me want to yell, "YES!" I am extremely happy when people realize their potential. Are you with me?
FFAWN's programs and projects include The Mary J. Blige Center for Women, a career, education, and life skills resource center in Yonkers, New York (Mary's hometown!), and the 3E Workshops, monthly workshops and open forums for women. FFAWN also gave scholarships to graduates of The Women's Academy of Excellence in the Bronx. The FFAWN website says they will offer more scholarships this year, but they haven't posted the information or applications yet, so bookmark their site and check back later for updated info.
Mary will play Justice Charlier in the upcoming film adaptation of the musical Rock of Ages. The MJB Center is associated with Westchester Jewish Community Services.
3E stands for Empowerment through Education and Encouragement.
The J. in Mary J. Blige stands for Jane.