Fri | Feb 28, 2020

Girls Empowered to dream big

Published:Friday | March 18, 2016 | 12:00 AMJanelle Oswald
Nadine Sutherland performing for girls at The Girls Empowered for Motherhood and Success Conference at the Jamaica Conference Centre on Tuesday, March 8.

An inspirational healing conference sponsored by ScotiaFoundation for teenage mothers across the nation in celebration of International Women's Day, in collaboration with Girls Empowered for Motherhood and Success (GEMS), at the Jamaica Conference Centre in Kingston on March 8.

ScotiaFoundation, Junior Achievement Jamaica and the Women's Centre of Jamaica Foundation, collaborated to take action against adolescent pregnancy and focus on uplifting girls as a key solution.

Master of ceremonies Emprezz Golding motivated the new mothers and mothers-to-be, to stand and declare, "I am wonderful, I believe in myself, I am empowered, I can see my future, I can see my baby's future, I step on fear, I am going to dream and dream big."

The event highlighted the importance of successful corporate women remembering their 'younger sisters,' who might have made a bad choice or who are overcoming sexual abuse.

Jacqueline Sharp, president and CEO, Scotiabank, told The Gleaner, "Debates which empower women to pause and celebrate each other, particularly those who have achieved amazing accomplishments despite their challenges and obstacles are crucial for female success because we all have a common story to share especially through the power of motherhood."


Successful feedback


Delighted by the successful feedback, Joylene Griffiths Irving, Scotiabank's director of Corporate Social Responsibility and executive director of the ScotiaFoundation, said, "It's important to spread the message of equality. Many girls who walk through our doors only know one perception of life, so it's crucial for Jamaica, Scotiabank and corporate women to help vulnerable women to dream.

"Successful career women must share their strength and help the younger generation to create a vision for themselves. Many of us who now enjoy a career, had a challenging youth. We must not forget. We must pass the baton. If we don't impart something to them, they cannot impart something to their children and if that happens, we would have sadly lost two generations before their time," Griffiths Irving said.

Joddian Howard, a from the Women's Centre of Jamaica Foundation and winner of one of the $50,000 cheques awarded by Scotiabank, said, "I got pregnant at 14 but turned my life around at the Women's Centre. Despite being scared, this was the best decision I ever made. The centre became my second home. I completed my education, excelled in 12 CXC subjects and I'm now in my final year studying Pharmacology at the University of the West Indies."