The YWCA of Nashville & Middle Tennessee is thrilled to announce it is partnering with Reese Witherspoon's new retail brand — Draper James — to bring economic literacy programming to at-risk Nashville girls.

The partnership targets girls in the YWCA’s Girls Inc. program and kicks off with a free conference for teenage girls and their mothers/mentors on Oct. 27, sponsored by First Tennessee Bank. The Oscar-winning actress is coming back home to Nashville and will appear at the conference.

“As the largest provider of domestic violence services in Tennessee, we see too often how financial dependence and insecurity can trap women, preventing them from being safe and reaching their full potential,” said YWCA CEO Patricia Glaser Shea. “Teaching and reaching girls at an early age that they are responsible for their own finances is the best form of prevention. Financial independence will allow our girls to follow their dreams and become the best she can be.”

The Draper James partnership will also open the doors to opportunities the Girls Inc. participants might not otherwise experience, including an internship program at the Draper James retail store located in the trendy 12th Avenue South neighborhood.

“Draper James is proud to partner with Girls Inc. to give young women a foundation for economic stability and the confidence that comes with it,” said Draper James CEO Andrea Hyde. “As a company led by women and rooted in the South, we are committed to giving the young women of Nashville the economic education they need to not only build their future, but also the future of their communities.”

Longtime YWCA supporter First Tennessee Bank is sponsoring the kickoff Girls Just Wanna Have Funds conference on Tuesday, Oct. 27 at 6:00 p.m. at the Music City Center. The event will offer fun, interactive financial literacy training and tips for teenage girls and their mothers or mentors.

“As the largest bank headquartered in Tennessee, First Tennessee partners with organizations that positively impacts the lives of many, like the YWCA,” says Carol Yochem, Regional President for First Tennessee. “We are excited to continue in that tradition with our support of the Girls Just Wanna Have Funds event and look forward to combining our efforts with Girls Inc. and Draper James.”

Space is limited, with priority registration for high school girls enrolled in the Girls Inc. program and Metro Nashville Public School teens and their mothers or female mentors. The FREE event and includes a family-style dinner. To register or learn more, visit

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