Sun | Dec 17, 2017

Pregnant teens encouraged to develop their own brand

Published:Saturday | October 7, 2017 | 12:00 AMNadine Wilson Harris
Teen girls at the Empowered for Motherhood and Success Conference put on by the ScotiaFoundation at the Jamaica Conference Centre yesterday.
Teen girls at the Empowered for Motherhood and Success Conference put on by the ScotiaFoundation at the Jamaica Conference Centre yesterday.
Yasheka Brooks giving her story as a teenage mon at the Girls Empowered for Motherhood and Success Conference.
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Being a teen mother is a challenge, but hundreds of pregnant and at risk teenage girls were yesterday reminded that it is possible to use this difficult experience to develop a personal brand that inspires others.

The reminder came from Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sports Dr Janice Lindsay during a Girls Empowered for Motherhood and Success (GEMS) Conference at the Jamaica Conference Centre. The conference was being hosted by ScotiaFoundation in partnership with the Women's Centre Foundation of Jamaica and the Junior Achievement Jamaica for the third consecutive year.

"I want you to walk away from all the proceedings today being far more confident, that you are your own brand," said Lindsay, who was bringing greetings on behalf of portfolio minister Olivia 'Babsy' Grange.

"Every topic that is presented here today is intended to shape a better you, to help create your brand," she said.

 

Motivated by teen parents

 

The girls were motivated by two teen mothers and a police officer who became a dad during his teen years. All three have been able to rise above their challenges and are making strides in achieving their personal goals.

The girls came from varying institutions from across the island, some with their babies accompanying them to share in the sessions.

"We have girls here who have never been pregnant, and we are saying to you, we want you to listen to the challenges that are faced when this occurs when it is unplanned," said executive director of ScotiaFoundation, Joylene Griffiths.

Griffiths, whose mother got pregnant during her teen years, encouraged the girls to move forward despite the challenges.

"The important thing that we want you to get is that you must set goals in your life," she said. "Things happen, life happens, and a big part of life is how you get up and continue."

nadine.wilson@gleanerjm.com