There’s nothing like a woman on a mission – a self-first mujer that has learned from her experiences and circumstances, and then chooses to help other women. That’s what Toshia Shaw has done with the Purple W.I.N.G.S Organization.
The mission of the Purple W.I.N.G.S. Organization (PWs) is to help girls become productive,
outstanding citizens. Toshia and her team believe that mentoring girls aids in transforming how they perceive themselves and their place in society.
How It All Began
It began with Toshia’s horrific journey of being sex-trafficked. After surviving this tumultuous experience, she felt lost. “I got caught up in the repetition of living,” Shaw shared. “I forgot the pact that I made with God and the woman inside that fought to survive in her early 20’s.” The shame and guilt caught up to her; she wasn’t living in her truth. “I tried to become someone else.”
Like many women, Toshia put on a mask. “I call [it] “passing,” she said. But, she had dreams.
“I dreamt that I was flying with a set of purple wings” she shared. “I had no idea what it meant. But one day after a strenuous day of working at my internship at a runaway shelter for my undergrad degree, I frantically began to search for an organization for at-risk girls. Somewhere I could refer my clients to who were having trouble, and needed the type of help I needed as a teen girl; but I came up short.”
That “Aha” Moment
Toshia soon realized the girls she worked with, girls that were much like her, needed more than to sell Girl Scout cookies. Toshia began planning and plotting, enlisting the help of others. “[I decided] to start my own organization called Purple W.I.N.G.S. The WINGS stands for ‘Women Inspiring Noble Girls Successfully.’ I worked hard securing a location, the right type of help, and opening the doors to begin my organization. And girl after girl began to sit in front of me telling me their stories about the trauma they suffered at the hands of domestic violence, rape, and being the victim of sex trafficking.”
That’s just the tip of the iceberg. Toshia Shaw also has an empowering message for girls and women of all ages:
“Begin to strengthen the most important relationship you’ll ever have in your lifetime – the relationship with self. If you love yourself the way the Creator loves you, you’ll be your best and never allow anything less.”
And she never wants you stop being the best version of yourself.
“No matter the situation keep going. You have purpose and a right to be here, to do something extraordinary in your life.”
Toshia Shaw is leading by example. She’s an extraordinary example of what happens when you love yourself and become self-first.