Helping Young Women Unlock Their Leadership Potential
At San Diego Gas & Electric, our employees feel a strong sense of purpose beyond delivering clean, safe and reliable energy services to our 3.7 million customers. As part of our commitment to the communities we serve, we support a variety of initiatives through shareholder contributions, employee giving programs, and volunteerism. Our philanthropic priorities include: climate action, emergency preparedness and safety, economic prosperity, and diversity, equity, and inclusion. Many of our initiatives focus on advancing racial and gender equity in alignment with our company value to “champion people.” We understand that in order for our region to thrive and become more sustainable, it’s important for all of us to do our part to ensure no one is left behind.
DETOUR (Depositing Empowerment Through Outreach & Urban Redevelopment) is a mentoring organization for girls of color, working at the intersection of race and gender to advance equity and inclusion in higher education and priority-sector employment. Their Focused And Naturally Confident Youth (FANCY) programs cultivate confidence, self-awareness, leadership, empowering teen girls to succeed in higher education, and build a strong foundation for long-term economic sustainability.
“DETOUR provides girls of color with pivotal experiences designed to help them discover their leadership potential and find internships that launch amazing careers. We put significant emphasis on self-love and self-confidence to help girls learn to value themselves and understand their worth as they become naturally confident in everything they do,” shared Tinesia Conwright, DETOUR Founder and Executive Director.
DETOUR has since forged pathways for over 1,000 girls toward educational success. In 2016, the FANCY in STEAM initiative launched to motivate girls to enter careers in science, technology, engineering, arts, and math. To date, 100% of their high school graduates have been accepted into four-year universities, with 73% pursuing a degree in a STEAM industry.
Since 2017, the organization’s FANCY Ambassador Paid Internship Program has placed 44 youth in internships, allowing them to work with DETOUR and others, including The Neighborhood House Association, Biocom, and Outdoor Outreach. DETOUR also recruits local companies and their employees to speak with teen girls in a series of leadership workshops. San Diego Gas & Electric is among many local supporters that encourages employees to share their diverse experiences and knowledge with local students.
DETOUR’s target student population are girls of color (age 11-17) who live, attend school, and/or play in Southeastern San Diego. About 65% of current participants are from low-income households, earning 80% or less of San Diego’s annual median income.
“DETOUR provides a positive, welcoming, and safe space for teen girls to discover their passions in life while gaining skills and experience to help them land rewarding future careers. We understand the importance of providing positive role models while making equality and inclusivity a top priority,” added Aisha Davis, DETOUR Board President.
Named Outstanding Organization for Diversity and Inclusion by the Association of Fundraising Professionals in 2020, DETOUR strives to break down stereotypical barriers for teen girls from underserved communities. With support from local partners like San Diego Gas & Electric, their goal is to continue to help change the trajectory of their lives moving forward.