South Jersey woman starts mentoring non-profit for young girls after near-death experience

A local woman started a mentoring non-profit in hopes of helping young girls.

"August ninth of 2017, I was shot," said 26-year- old Tahira Walker. She remembers that day vividly.

"I could have lost my life. I could have died. I wouldn't have been here," she said. SKYFOX captured the video of the scene on Pearl Street in Bridgeton, New Jersey.

Tahira was in her car with a friend who she says was the target of the shooting. Several gunmen shot up the car. Her friend was killed. Tahira was shot in the lower back.

“It was hard. I had to wear a colostomy bag for nine months," she said. In the moment, she leaned on her faith and says God revealed her purpose.

"Since you gave me a second chance I know I have a purpose. What's my purpose? And he pushed me towards the youth."  So she started a non-profit called Blooming Roses centered on mentoring young girls. It's been operating for two years now.

"If I could steer them in the right direction so it won't happen that's my goal," she said. Tahira says she was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Still, she's using what happened to her to help young girls.

"So they won't turn to bad behavior and let them know it's more to life than being out in the streets or just doing bad things," she said.

Through Blooming Roses the girls have activities like painting, crafting, she takes them skating, bowling to the trampoline park and they have sleepovers.

 "Just to let them know it's more to life than being a statistic or doing things you'll regret in life," she says.

Brooke Hayes' 9-year-old daughter Briah is in the program with 21 other girls.

“She’s nice and kind,” said Briah. Her mom says, “It definitely holds her accountable because we make sure all the girls involved have good grades in school, they’re being good at home and it gives them something to look forward to."

Tahira has a 7-month-old daughter of her own but says these girls are her everything.

“I promote positivity and respect. I just teach them to do the right thing,” she said.

This weekend Tahira is throwing a girl's night out party for the kids at a hotel. She's in the Air National Guard and will be going away for tech school through the military next month. She'll be back in May to pick up where she left off.

For more information on Blooming Roses, please click here.


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