The Mary J. Blige and Steve Stoute Foundation for the Advancement of Women Now, Inc. (FFAWN) is intended to help women gain the confidence and skills they need to achieve success.

The organization will initially focus its efforts in the singer’s hometown of Yonkers, N.Y., and surrounding communities in Westchester and then expand its scope to include the greater New York City area and, eventually, the entire country.

“Most of my life was centered around living for the moment,” Blige said. “I had very few resources and very little real life education to make good decisions. What I did have was a voice and that ultimately became my vehicle of growth.

“I, with Steve Stoute, created FFAWN because I believe every young woman, if given encouragement and a helping hand (a hand filled with resources), can reach her greatest potential. It is my great hope that FFAWN will be a vehicle to help other women reach greater heights despite their environment, despite low self esteem, despite their immediate circumstances.”

FFAWN will partner with Westchester Community Services to open the Mary J. Blige Center for Women in Yonkers, which will offer a wide variety of services to women and girls of all ages.

Initially, the center will focus on helping young, single mothers enhance their parenting skills, obtain educational and vocational support and access individualized programs designed to help them reach their goals and live better lives.

In addition, the organization will work with cosmetics company Carol’s Daughter to organize an educational series featuring inspirational speakers and business skills training, as well as with other partners to help fund scholarships for vocational training programs and educational degrees.

Complete information on the foundation and its programs is available at