RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Every year, hundreds of girls from elementary through high school in Central Virginia learn from advocate Tammie Mobley how to be responsible, empowered and loved. But only a dozen or so take the step and are chosen to join the R.E.A.L. Girlz leadership and mentorship program.

With the help of community partners, Mobley hosted the “Pink and White Sunday Afternoon Social” on Sunday, May 22 to celebrate their completion of the six-month program.

“It’s just amazing to see the evolution and see the growth in them,” said Tammie Mobley, R.E.A.L. Girlz founder. “I feel like they are all my babies.”

8News Anchor Deanna Allbrittin served as the keynote speaker, giving the girls words of advice as some of them embark on their next chapters. For some of the older girls, they’re heading off to college, while others are sticking with R.E.A.L. Girlz to help mentor younger girls.

One of those is LaNae Chapman, a rising junior who’s been with R.E.A.L. Girlz for four years.

Participants like LaNae say the program strives to provide safe spaces for girls to believe in their greatness and help them form friendships with like-minded teens.

“It’s a very beneficial bond,” said group leader LaNae Chapman. “It’s like a sisterhood here. We’re all sisters here. We may argue and fuss sometimes but sisters don’t do that.”