If you ask 12-year-old Cailyn Davis about the mean girls’ mentality, the rising seventh grader who resides in Prince George’s County, Maryland will tell you that she disliked it enough to do something about stopping it. Cailyn took a stand locally about fellow girls belittling others by forming a community sorority and nonprofit called Beta Iota Iota Beta, Inc. Girls between ages six to 16 can enjoy camaraderie while combining the purpose of having a safe place to fulfill their potential and pursue their goals fearlessly.
The sorority launched on Cailyn’s birthday in 2021. Holding meetings, having fun at outings like a waterpark, reading books, speaking to other students about building healthy friendships, and participating in community service events and speaking engagements are the kinds of activities that have been on the sorority members’ itinerary.
“I want to teach them [girls] that it’s not right to be mean to each other, and I want to let them know…. that within us you can talk to them [other members] about anything that’s bothering you,” Cailyn said.
Despite Cailyn’s young age, she is no stranger to leadership. Beauty Is In The Books preceded the sorority’s formation. The ambitious preteenager explained that the nonprofit initially focused on reading. It turned into a social club because she wanted to add other activities.
“Beta Iota Iota Beta, Inc. is a sorority that I brought together to bring girls from all over the world together as a sisterhood, so that they won’t look down on each other and be mean to each other,” Cailyn said.
She further explained that she dealt with girls who are now sorority members who had previously experienced being bullied.
“I just wanted to make them feel safe and know that they can come talk to their sisters about anything.”
Cailyn added that 15 girls from the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia are currently sorority members. Allowing girls who reside in other places to join the sorority is a future goal. A parent of one of Cailyn’s sorors helped with ideas in setting up the sorority, along with Cailyn’s mother, Valencia Davis.
Davis is a serial entrepreneur and is also known to help the community. She serves as Director of Operations for Beta Iota Iota Beta, Inc. Davis explained that the reading program, Beauty Is In The Books, was initiated under the nonprofit Valuable Blessings, Inc. that she leads as chief executive officer and president. Her nonprofit provides empowerment and leadership services. Cailyn was inspired to start the sorority because of the example Davis sets.
“My mom has multiple businesses, and I want to be like her,” Cailyn said.
Kelsi Grays, 14, is the president of Beta Iota Iota Beta Inc. who agrees with Cailyn’s mission to correct mean girl behavior. The Prince George’s County resident who will be starting the ninth grade in the fall was originally the president of Beauty Is In The Books book club. Creating goals, providing meeting plans, and helping other members are some of her duties. When Cailyn asked her to assume the new role, she agreed to support Cailyn’s vision.
“I think that it is important for me to remind other girls to stay positive and learn about sisterhood because it can really help young girls’ self-esteem, confidence and growth. We should also learn about sisterhood because girls will be able to communicate and express their feelings appropriately with other people,” Kelsi said.
The teenager added that displaying kindness and uplifting each other is better than being a mean girl. Joining the sorority helped Kelsi to open up and create relationships with new people. Some girls have benefited from membership because they now have a space where they do not have to worry about being picked on or judged, according to Kelsi.
“It’s okay to bond and create a sisterhood relationship with other young girls, and to stay positive and encourage other young girls to stop ‘the mean girl act,’ open up, and express themselves to other people,” Kelsi said.
Information about new member inquiries in the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia is available online via https://www.beautyisinthebooks.org/. Early applications will be reviewed from August 1- 31, 2022 for local girls who subscribed to the sorority’s email list on the website. You may email [email protected]yisinthebooks.org to follow up about joining Beta Iota Iota Beta, Inc.