TWF was founded in 1997 by award winning actress Terri J. Vaughn. Ms. Vaughn, who is a product of one of the Bay Area’s most notorious inner city neighborhoods, has first hand knowledge of the challenges and choices that teenaged girls are faced with on a daily basis. As a result of this first hand knowledge, her own personal success and a desire to give back to her community, Take Wings Foundation was born. Ms. Vaughn was driven to develop an organization that would specifically address the needs of the young women living in Hunters Point and similar communities in the San Francisco Bay Area. TWF provides opportunities for girls to interact with positive role models, get them involved in community service projects, encourages personal growth and development, and provides a series of workshops geared towards developing positive self esteem.
TWF provides a variety of activities for young women that give them the opportunity to interact with positive role models, receive academic scholarships and awards, and participate in community service projects. Young women participate in three all day workshops each year that address a variety of issues that are of concern to teens which include dating violence, HIV/Aids, teen pregnancy, peer pressure, weight and body image, social responsibility, academic success, career development, successful emancipation from foster care, spirituality and various other topics. The youth also complete 40 hours of community service as well as an essay on a topic of our choosing. Through their participation in these various activities, health, wellness, self sufficiency, personal responsibility and academic success are emphasized and supported. TWF encourages youth to utilize communication skills, critical thinking skills and problem solving. TWF offers a safe and supportive place for youth to discuss personal issues that affect most underserved youth.
TWF is operated by a half time Executive Director and a “working” board where members recruit participants, design workshops, organize fundraising events, and tend to all of the other day-to-day matters. They serve as staff, provide transportation for participants, develop workbooks and materials for workshops, recruit speakers, and devote hundreds of hours to ensure that the program provides quality services.