Empower girls and young women in marginalized communities by helping them gain the skills necessary through education, training and mentorship to become confident, college and career ready.

Empowering Success

In 2012, EmpowHer Institute began partnering with Title I schools to serve marginalized teen girls who were at risk of educational failure.  We recognized that girls’ experiences and situations outside the classroom — pregnancy, low self-esteem, depression, and family violence, sexual assault and other trauma –profoundly affect their readiness to achieve academically.  As a result, we developed a gender-specific curriculum for the classroom that develops life skills and social and emotional learning, and connects the EmpowHer girl with a caring adult mentor. The tools, resources and support that EmpowHer Institute annually provides its 200 to 225 students enrolled in our elective classes enable them to cope with everyday challenges, stay engaged in school, eventually graduate from high school, and design their own future.  With this formula of social and emotional learning, caring adult mentors and safe spaces for individual expression, EmpowHer Institute seeks to achieve the goal of reducing the thirty-five to forty percent high school dropout rate for African-American and Latina girls.

Since incorporating as a 501(c)(3) non-profit in 2003, we have remained steadfast in our commitment to serve marginalized teen girls in Los Angeles and surrounding areas. As a result, EmpowHer Institute has impacted over 3,500 teen girls through our educational and mentoring programs.


Betty LaMarr, Founder

Betty is passionate about serving others through coaching and mentoring. While living in South Africa, Betty saw the devastating effects poverty and powerlessness have on girls and women. She also saw what happens when girls and women are offered even modest opportunities for empowerment: Women discover independence, girls seek education, and life changes for entire families and communities are positively altered as the cycle of poverty and dependency is broken.

More about Betty

Inspired by her experience in South Africa, Betty came back to the United States and founded EmpowHer. Its mission was to make a difference in the lives of disadvantaged girls and women by offering them opportunities to enhance their lives through the development of entrepreneurial, business, and life skills that lead to economic independence. Since its inception in 2003, EmpowHer has served thousands of girls and women in the Los Angeles area.

Betty earned a BA in Business Administration from California State University at Los Angeles and an MBA from Pepperdine University. The Mayor of Los Angeles and California’s Lieutenant Governor have honored Betty for outstanding community service as an activist for change as well as for her contributions to a variety of youth organizations. Betty is an author, speaker, businesswoman, entrepreneur. She received the 2015 Services to Youth Award from Palos Verdes Chapter of Links, Inc, a 2014 Friends of Fuller Foundation Humanitarian Award , a 2013 Soroptimist International  Ruby Award by the Camino Real Region. A 2012 Pepperdine University George Award winner for Community Service she was also 2010 Los Angeles Business Journal honoree and finalist for the Women Making a Difference Award.