RIVERHEAD - A Mastic Beach woman has started a free program aimed at empowering young underprivileged girls.

Tijuana Fulford says she was inspired to start the Butterfly Effect Project after learning some girls in her community were unable to participate in Girl Scouts because their families could not afford dues.

Fulford says her program is open to all girls, regardless of their financial background. Funds for the program are raised through donations.

"My biggest goal is to make sure all these girls know they are beautiful. They are smart. They are intelligent. And they can do anything that they want to do," says Fulford.

Volunteers from the community talk to the girls about careers and the girls also perform community service in Suffolk County.