They say it takes a village to raise a child. And the Jamaican Women of Florida (JWOF) is taking the old proverb to heart, promoting mentorship for young women across the Diaspora at the recent JWOF Scholarship and Networking Reception, held at the Lauderdale Lakes Educational and Cultural Center.
Seeking to expose young Jamaican-American women to the diverse career opportunities available to them, as well as the various challenges of pursuing a college education, the group hosted a special panel of speakers to share their collective wisdom. Tech advisor Yaneeke Douglas and marketing exec Tamara Wadley-Senior encouraged the young attendees to be unafraid to explore different fields, whether forging ahead in the still male-dominated tech world, or going for that second degree to expand their professional opportunities. Attorney Georgia Robinson and CPA Dale Telfer had more pragmatic advice, cautioning young women on being financially aware in their choice of both collage and career.
One thing was clear as the young students later met one-on-one with the many professionals in attendance, becoming absorbed in conversation about their aspirations. Whatever these young women wanted to be, this local collection of Jamaican women would be there to help all the way. JWOF hopes to solidify this sense of support at the upcoming Women’s Empowerment Conference and Scholarship Luncheon, set for April 23 at Jungle Island in Miami.
There, a host of Jamaican-American women professionals from across the country will speak on their own experiences and insights for the next generation of women among the Diaspora. JWOF will also provide further support for students with the “Powerful Women…Next Generation” scholarship, which will be awarded at the luncheon. Awarded to a first or second generation, Jamaican-American female high school student attending college in Fall 2016, the scholarship (valued at $1,000 yearly) seeks to encourage the recipient to achieve her four-year educational goal at a tertiary institution. So far, two students have been recipients of the Scholarship.