At the heart of any successful nonprofit organization or business venture, there is an entrepreneur who saw a need and created an organization to fulfill that need. Daddy’s Girl is no different. While many people sit on their laurels, it is the entrepreneur that seizes the moment and the opportunity. Tasha McKenzie is the founder and the President of Daddy’s Girl, a nonprofit organization based out of the Washington, DC area. Her organization exists to “facilitate positive and healthy relationships between fathers and daughters and encourage active participation from fathers in efforts to increase the overall well-being of young girls and young women.”
What originally began as a “few different events” has blossomed into an organization which is planning a Fitness Academy, an Annual Daddy/Daughter Princess Ball and even a Father-to-Father mentoring program. For McKenzie, Daddy’s Girl was not just some idea that came to her in her sleep. Instead, McKenzie saw how important it was for her stepdaughter, who lives in New York, and her husband, who lives in Washington, DC to “make the most out of their time together” when she visited. In hopes of making these visits exciting and memorable, McKenzie searched but could not find any programs or events in the Washington D.C. area that catered to fathers and daughters and cultivated those relationships. After mentioning to her husband that she could not find anything, her husband frankly said “Why don’t you start a program?” From that moment the idea and vision of Daddy’s Girl has grown to an organization which includes McKenzie, Neechie Greer and a Board of Directors with various backgrounds including a community activist, law enforcement professional and other entrepreneurs.
Originally from Chicago, Illinois, McKenzie’s father was a police officer and her mother worked in the nonprofit sector. McKenzie explained that her parents instilled in her the importance of giving back. After graduating from Howard University, the founder of Daddy’s Girl recalls that her professional life has gone through “twists and turns” but she has “no doubt that she is where she supposed to be—helping people.” A self-proclaimed daddy’s girl, McKenzie understands young women that have a good relationship with their father or a good role model can benefit “mentally, physically and emotionally.” She realizes that the father and daughter relationship is often ignored or under-appreciated in society. For fathers that do recognize the importance of this relationship and are looking to improve their relationships with their daughters they shouldn’t “over think it” because all daughters really want at the end of the day is for their fathers “to be there” or as McKenzie explains, “to be a good dad you don’t have to be perfect, just participating.”
Inspired by the success of everyday entrepreneurs and game changers, McKenzie says that success is “actually quite normal.” The founder of Daddy’s Girl goes explained that “when you can digest how ‘normal’ it is to be successful, then that’s when you can accept your own success.”
Other interesting facts about McKenzie:
- She holds a degree in Health Sciences from Howard University and is anticipating her Masters in Nonprofit Management from the University of Maryland University College in 2012.
- She admires Russell Simmons because he has a successful businesses, but he “still devotes a substantial amount of time and money giving and promoting various charitable causes.”