(BPRW) During Women’s History Month, Jamaican Women of Florida continue their work to empower current and future female leaders
“POWher: Hope/Elevate/Restore” sponsored by Florida Power and Light
(Black PR Wire) Plantation, FL — As the nation celebrates Women’s History Month, the Jamaican Women of Florida (JWOF) are persevering with their work to guarantee current and future female leaders have the assist they want to construct their personal legacies.
Recently, JWOF hosted its annual Women’s Empowerment Conference and Scholarship Fundraiser entitled “POWher: Hope, Elevate, Restore.” The weekend was sponsored by Florida Power & Light (FPL), whose Director of Corporate External Affairs, Juliet Roulhac, served as a keynote speaker.
“FPL is in the power business and a big part of that is empowering people in our community. By participating in this, we feel that we are empowering young girls who have bright futures ahead of them to reach their goals,” Roulhac mentioned.
Born and raised in Kingston, Jamaica earlier than coming to Florida when she was 15, Roulhac is a self-described “relationship executive.” She mentioned she was each “personally honored” and “personally pleased” when JWOF President Dr. Keisha Grey invited her to take part.
“When she described what their mission is and what they do, I was completely taken away by that and wanted to invest FPL’s dollars to support this,” Roulhac mentioned, noting she actually “loved” that the group supplies scholarships to college-bound younger ladies.
Those scholarships are awarded to first and second-generation Jamaican-American ladies graduating from a Florida highschool. This 12 months’s three recipients – Jahzmin White, Carole Saint-Hilaire and Allison Brown – will every obtain $5,000 in 4 $1,250 installments over a four-year interval.
When I acquired the information of the scholarship in my e-mail … my household and I have been overjoyed,” Brown mentioned. “I am so honored to be welcomed into the JWOF sisterhood and … thank you for seeing my tenacity, potential and scholarly character.”
Grey, who has been a member of JWOF because it launched in 2012, mentioned regardless of the challenges offered by the coronavirus pandemic, many individuals nonetheless rose to the event to assist their work. She understands firsthand the challenges households face in paying for school.
“As a daughter of a single mother, a teacher from Jamaica who had the opportunity to come here and study, I know what it’s like to want more for your child. It’s what my mother wanted for me,” Grey mentioned. “I didn’t have the opportunity as an international student to get access to scholarships so I know there’s so many young girls who have a vision like I did to go to college. To be able to give them the financial support to make that dream a reality resonated with me and that’s why I became a member.”
Grey isn’t the one one who’s obsessed with JWOF’s mission. In addition to her board, a number of dignitaries attended the scholarship reception on Friday, March 6, at Island SPACE Museum. They included: Jamaica’s Consul General to Miami Hon. Oliver Mair; Broward County District 9 Commissioner and former Mayor Dale V.C. Holness; and City of Lauderhill Commissioner Melissa P. Dunn, amongst others.
“I think it’s important to support the Jamaican Women of Florida because of the amazing work that they do and I’m a Jamaican woman,” Dunn mentioned. “I think it’s important for us to create spaces where we can not only connect with each other, but also serve this community that we live in.”
Dunn added if JWOF had been round when she graduated highschool it “would have meant the difference between me going to the college of my dreams and the college that I went to.” Her sentiment was echoed by Mair and Holness.
“We work very closely with JWOF and all the projects they do, we’re involved at some level. We believe in the empowerment of women and that women also have a role now in encouraging our men, who I believe are lagging behind,” mentioned Mair, who additionally serves as JWOF’s honorary chairman. “I want to salute the leadership and we’re happy to be a part of anything that’s uplifting,”
“Since I’m a Jamaican man, I figured on behalf of Jamaican men, I ought to come out and support Jamaican Women of Florida,” Holness mentioned with fun earlier than critically noting organizations like JWOF “are the fabric of holding communities together and building certain communities.”
“The Jamaican Women of Florida have demonstrated that over a good period of time now. To continue their efforts, they need support so I’m here to lend my support in whatever way possible to ensure the good things they have started will continue,” Holness mentioned.
The weekend continued with a digital convention on Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. In addition to Roulhac, former Miss World and current Jamaica Member of Parliament Lisa Hanna served as a keynote speaker.
“Women are the best assets of any country. We are courageous and we know how to get in-between the margins and make something out of nothing,” Hanna mentioned.
There was an assortment of programming which included classes overlaying subjects starting from psychological well being and entrepreneurship to well being, wellness and the inventory market. Virtual buying, networking and music from a gifted female DJ have been additionally interspersed all through the day.
In tandem with Jamaica’s motto, “Out of Many One People,” JWOF’s web site states it believes “together we have the power to do anything.” The non-profit’s mission is to “inspire personal development of women and mentor the next generation of powerful women in Jamaica and in Florida.” Though its title denotes one state, the group has 115 members and associates throughout the U.S. and internationally.
In addition to the scholarship program, JWOF has adopted Melody House – a house for at-risk and disenfranchised ladies in Montego Bay, Jamaica. Thus far, they’ve supplied laptops and different means of assist to the house.
In the future, Grey mentioned she’d like to introduce a funding program that helps up-and-coming ladies entrepreneurs and those that take completely different paths to success.
“I recognize that everybody isn’t going to college these days,” Grey mentioned. “That’s not the only path after high school so I’m looking forward to making that change or making an additional scholarship to support that group of young women.”
Grey mentioned the group may even take part in a six-month strategic planning interval and probably start the method of heeding members’ requests to begin official chapters in different states. She thanked Broward Meets for being an “awesome, silent contributor” to their work through the years.
Roulhac is impressed that JWOF symbolizes what many already consider in regards to the small island nation and its folks: They are small however mighty.
“It’s just a small group of them who decided they wanted to do this and they just leveraged their skills and their talents and made this happen,” Roulhac mentioned. “I just think that the idea of wanting to make an impact and deciding to do it is probably the best example they could give in creating a sense of community.”
To be taught extra, get entangled or grow to be a member of JWOF, go to jamaicanwomenofflorida.com.
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