EmpowHer Institute CEO, Betty LaMarr was featured on KCAL-TV to discuss our organization’s mission and two events that are in support of that mission. She talks about our inaugural teen conference, Mentor to Inspire and our gala, Girls to Greatness Pathmaker Awards.
EmpowHer Institute brought together all of the participants in its EmpowHer Academy from four schools in the Los Angeles areas of Inglewood, Gardena, Watts, Pico-Union to the Skirball Cultural Center for a full day of mentoring, speakers, hands on STEM experiences and panel discussions. There were nearly 300 students and 50 professional women from different careers and disciplines. The women were recruited from organizations that provide funding for the programs in the schools.
Over 300 middle and high school girls attended the @EmpowHerLA Summit. A summit that empowers young women to become confident, career and college ready! @blamarr @GetInvolve1 pic.twitter.com/6xBDaz9o0z
— PBS for Los Angeles (@KLCS) May 3, 2018
This past Tuesday, EmpowHer Institute was asked by U.S. State Department to host an international delegation from the Near East North Africa region conducting research on programs “Countering Extremist Messaging and Protecting Youth.” Hosted at the Lennox Library, EmpowHer was joined by local political leaders in education, Honorable Carliss Richardson McGhee of Inglewood School Board, Ms. Shannon Thomas Allen of Lennox School Board and community activist, James Nash. Members of the international delegation were from Algeria, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestinian Territories, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates and Yemen. There were 20 participants, including visitors and liaisons.
The group discussed a variety of important topics such as advocacy for girls, international programs, systemic injustice, and taking action. We loved sharing with them the work that EmpowHer has done and it was an honor to hear from the delegates as well. Thank you to the delegates for allowing EmpowHer to host the event!
We love ensuring amazing and eyeopening experiences for our EmpowHer Academy Girls. This December has been a series of “firsts” for many of our girls. Thanks to the financial support of our donors we were able to send more than 100 of our 8th and 9th grade girls to a performance of Hot Chocolate Nutcracker, directed and produced by Debbie Allen. This was the first time seeing a live performance for more than 90% of our girls. Many left inspired to want to express themselves through art.
Partnering with Girls Build LA we sent 140 seventh grade girls from our partner middle schools, UCLA Experimental School, Environmental Charter, Inglewood and Environmental Charter, Gardena to participate in the Leadership Summit which featured amazing women like Hillary Clinton, Senator, Kamala Harris, Bozama St. John, Chief Marketing Officer of Uber and so many other role models.
This past weekend we had the privilege of hosting the EmpowHer Salon at Sunset. Not only did our CEO Betty LaMarr get the opportunity to report on the state of EmpowHer, but we also got to celebrate our volunteers who have been such an essential part of our service to teen girls. Some of our girls from the EmpowHer Girls Academy as well as the EmpowHer Leaders Academy (ELA) got to speak about the impact that EmpowHer has made in their lives. Our theme was “Strengthening the Bridge to Opportunity,” which is exactly what our volunteers, mentors, teachers, and board members are doing by being a part of EmpowHer Institute. We recognized multiple individuals including Ruth Simeon, Board Chair, René Nourse, Advisory Board Member, and Linda Wright, ELA Mentor. We’re so thankful to have such amazing women in the EmpowHer family – their hard work does not go unnoticed! It is because of these volunteers as well as our donors that we are able to make the impact we are making in our schools. A special thank you to Co-Chairs, Mary Sadeghi and Joslyn Osborn! We also want to thank our Corporate Sponsor, VACO-LA.
Our Kick-Off Event for the start of the school year was an opportunity for parents to hear more about EmpowHer and the vision behind our Girls Academy program. The girls wrote down one characteristic that they love about themselves and shared it with the class. They also got to say one thing they liked about someone else in the class, which excited the girls! Each girl got to share one characteristic she loves about herself with her parents and the class. This was followed by Keyonna, our Program Director and Jessica, our Program Coordinator presenting the benefits of the EmpowHer program. They went over what the girls will get to be a part of through EmpowHer and the important role that our parents play in the program. The school year is off to a great start!
We also got to launch our Giving Tuesday campaign at the Kick Off! Starting this Tuesday, we’re going to be highlighting an EmpowHer girl or teacher every Tuesday. You’ll get to hear more about their stories, passions, and what they love about EmpowHer! Look out for our hashtags #EmpowHeredtoGive, #GiveTodayChangeTheirTomorrow, and #GivingTuesday for our Giving Tuesday campaign on Facebook and Instagram!
For the second year our CEO, Betty LaMarr has joined MSMU as a speaker in the 2017 Women’s Leadership Conference. She was joined by a group of powerful women who were empowering as panelists at Mount Saint Mary’s University Women’s Leadership Conference. Asha Dahya, Megan Sette, Keisha Nix, Luz Rivas, Betty LaMarr. They brought the topic alive: The Power of We: Fueling Conscious Communities. We believe that it is important for everyone to become part of the community and show concern for your fellow citizens. Whether you volunteer, advocate for change, ensure that there is justice and equity for all or donate, there is something for everyone, was the message.
EmpowHer Institute girls from two partner schools participated in a week long science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM) program. We partnered with
Lucas Scholars. The program is a one week STEAM and project-based learning camp known as Lucas Scholars. The mission of Lucas Scholars is to provide under-served students access and experience with innovative technology that supports joy and exploration. The program is free of charge, offers access to mentors and asks that students work together, have fun and view themselves as scholars.
On the final day the students had an exhibit of their projects. We were so proud of the team work and creativity of our girls from Environmental Charter Middle School-Inglewood and Gardena. They created projects that defied gravity and saved marine animals. I was pleased to hear them say that they learned a lot from their failures. What an opportunity for our girls!
We celebrated a milestone for EmpowHer Institute – the high school graduation of our EmpowHer Leaders Academy members. They are the first cohort of girls, that participated in our EmpowHer Girls Academy since 7th grade, to graduate from high school. We are extremely proud of these young ladies. They are incredibly self-aware, confident and focused. We know that they will go on to accomplish great things in college and beyond. For, the best is yet to come.
We also celebrated the culmination of our 8th grade EmpowHer Girls Academy (EGA) participants. These girls have participated in EGA since the 7th grade. They have shown tremendous growth over the past two years. Many transforming from shy girls with insecurities and self-doubt to bold young ladies who are confident in themselves and their abilities. This transformation was eloquently articulated by EGA participant, Megan Zamora, during her culmination speech (see video).