We had the good fortune of connecting with Rose Diggs and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Rose, every day, we about how much execution matters, but we think ideas matter as well. How did you come up with the idea for your business?
The way I came up with the idea for this business was thinking about the facts that I was and had been a foster parent for 4 years at the time, and I was finding out a lot about the Foster Care System from both the children in care as well as my foster parent experiences. I felt at the time that there was a great need to help these children I was caring for as well as others in the system. Many of the children I fostered did not have any idea about simple things of life such as, having or building high self esteem, the difference between a debit versus credit card, the importance of getting a solid education such as finishing high school and getting a trade or higher education degree, the importance of having financial knowledge, how to dress for success, and more. A lot of them had low self esteem, felt traumatized from having to be placed in multiple stranger’s homes, and just the need to be more informed, cared about and loved, I decided that I wanted to created homes that would act like a transitional location for the children entering the foster care system. The intent was to help reduce the number of traumatic experiences of having to be placed in different homes until a permanent home was found. In the mean time, my business would also provide outreach programs that would teach these children life lessons in preparation for their future. Once I started the business, I realized that the transitional home idea was not an approved option in the state of Georgia at that time. I decided that during the process of trying to get the approval from DFS, I would continue to provide outreach programs that would design, curate, and execute enrichment programs and community outreach to enhance the lives of the foster, adopted and at-risk children
What should our readers know about your business?
We have developed 3 core programming initiatives designed to empower children, encourage, and develop their social, life, and academic skills. We host 2 annual events to support the local community, “Boys to Men,” and “Princess for a Day” which are specifically designed to celebrate these children and promote self-worth.
We also provide virtual tutoring and mentorship for over 500 children throughout the year via our “Tutoring for Success” and “Teach Me How To” series. These programs enforce the core values of responsibility, respect, determination and resilience. It is our goal that through these programs, we help to provide life-changing information and experiences that help offset the often challenging life experiences these kids have faced so early in their lives.
I’m most proud of the growth in the number of children that we have been able to reach and help. We smile when we receive reports from parents, teachers and tutors about the improvements the children are experiencing and gaining from our tutoring program, or how the girls want to keep their dresses on past the end of the event because they feel like a very special princess, or the boys want to start wearing business attire because they feel like they are going to be somebody important when they become adults.
Down 7 Up 8 Incorporated has gotten to where we are today by having great community partners who see and understand the values our programs provide for young people in need and how these programs are making a difference in the lives of these children.
It has not been easy to get to where we are today because there is always a financial need and continues to have that need. The Pandemic has made it more difficult but we will continue to work towards providing for children in need.
We continue to overcome the challenges by being willing to work hard, stay strong and determine to help our children in need. We want to: 1. Create and provide a secure home environment of love and care for children entering the foster care system. 2. Help minimize traumatic experiences and treat children with dignity by enhancing their quality of life. 3. Align each child with mentors that will elevate their life. 4. Assist the Department of Family and Children Services during the placement, re-unification, or family preservation processes.
We will continue to reach out to community partners, apply for grants, do fundraisers and ask the world to donate and contribute, and do whatever else is necessary to continue our mission because we understand the importance and value to the children in need.
We are determined to grow and accomplish our desire to also add our transitional homes in the near future. We understand that they are of a need and the benefits outweigh the struggle to achieve our mission.
We want the world to know that we are making positive differences in the lives of future individuals who will be positive contributors to many communities in the coming future.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
If my best friend was visiting the area for a week or so, I would take him/her to the Botanical Gardens, the World of Coke, the Georgia Aquarium, take in a Falcon’s game, visit Truist Park to hang out, take in a show at Cobb Energy Center, ride the Ferris Wheel, eat at Capital Grille, Morton’s Steak House, the Sun Dial, Kyma, Ray’s on the River, Kimball House, and Lazy Betty, and a spa day at the Four Seasons or anything or any place that they might want to visit.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Shout outs go to our board members: Attorney Tanya Nebo, Pamela Ritchie, Euniq Nebo, Joseph Kimbrough, Dana Peterson, and Clinton Ages. These members have been along side of me during the entire process. Shout outs also go out to the other foster parents who make sure that their children attend our outreach programs and some of the foster children who have been willing to make the efforts to learn the different life lessons that are being provided to them. There are many community partners who help contribute in-kind or financial assistance to make these programs possible. Partners such as: Amerigroup, Bombas, McEarchern United Methodist Church, Tony & Guy School, Tiff Treats, Ignite Hope, Fostering Life, Neil and Penny Warren, Bob and Christie Geiger, Seeing Beautiful, and a slew of others. Shout out to all who have contributed to helping us achieve our mission.