November 14, 2017
A one-day conference geared towards Grade 12 females, Girl Con 2017, will highlight ‘National Women’s Week,’ November 26 to December 2 under the theme “Strong Women – Strong Families – Strong Communities.”
During a press conference on Monday at the Office of the Prime Minister, Grand Bahama, Senate President, the Hon. Katherine Forbes-Smith, said the Girls Conference will be held on November 28, from 9:30 a.m. to noon, at Keen I Media Centre, on Cromwell and Sergeant Major Drive.
With 15 young ladies from the 10 high schools on the island expected to be in attendance, the attendees will hear from five panellists: Rev. Marie Roach-Hepburn; Senator Jasmine Turner-Dareus; Gia Pierre, playwright and author; Lynda Wells, photographer and Eldri Ferguson-Mackey, business.
“We’ve asked these five women to speak at this event, but speak in a very different manner. They’re going to tell their personal stories about some of the things that really has been both negative and positive, in terms of their success and their career.”
Senator Smith continued, “We feel that these young girls… 12th grade students from the 10 high schools -- will be very much uplifted by what these women have to say. It is really surprising, when you talk to these women, some of the barriers that they surpassed to be successful today.”
Two of the panelists, successful artists, have been chosen so that young women can see that they can be successful in the arts, Mrs. Smith further explained.
Another event geared towards inspiring the young ladies will be an essay competition, again for 12th graders, under the theme, “Why females make strong families – strong communities.” Prizes for the top three finalists include cash and electronics. First place winner will receive $750; second place, $500 and the third place winner will receive $250. The winner of the competition will also be expected to deliver her essay during Girl Con 2017.
Yvonne Ward of the Ministry of Education, said the Ministry is excited about the event and they want the 12th grade students involved “because we feel they are the next generation of leaders. We expect you to pick up the mantle and ensure that our rights and privileges continue. We expect that through education.
Essays, she said, should be submitted by 5:00 p.m. on November 24. They should be placed in a sealed envelope and addressed to Patrice Johnson, Department of Social Services, Sun Plaza.
Pakesia Parker-Edgecombe, Parliamentary Secretary of Information and Communications in the Office of the Prime Minister, said “I think that it’s important that, as women, we continue to come together. Oftentimes, society has a way of pitting us against each other and rather than supporting each other, we’re always joining in that. I think this conference not only shows a group of professional women and community leaders coming together, but also lets our young girls know that we can achieve much if we just support one another, and this is going to be doing that at this conference.”
Mrs. Parker-Edgecombe thanked Senator Smith, the brainchild behind the event, and said that if women would just support each other, much would be accomplished.
Mrs. Ward urged the young ladies and principals to support these events.
Also present during the press conference were: Senator Jasmine Turner-Dareus; Patrice Johnson, Department of Social Services; Donna Laing-Jones; and Kiarra Jones.
ONE-DAY CONFERENCE TARGETS 12TH GRADERS – Girl Con 2017, a one-day conference designed especially for 12th grade students, is the highlight of ‘National Women’s Week.’ The conference will be held on Monday, November 27 from 9:30 a.m. to noon. An essay competition will also be a part of the activities scheduled. National Women’s Week will be observed from November 26 to December 2. Shown from left during a press conference on Monday, November 13, 2017 are: Donna Laing-Jones; Senator Jasmine Turner-Dareus, one of the panelists; Pakesia Parker-Edgecombe, Parliamentary Secretary of Information and Communications in the Office of the Prime Minister; Senator the Hon. Katherine Forbes-Smith, President of the Senate; Yvonne Ward, Ministry of Education; Patrice Johnson, Department of Social Services; and Kiarra Jones. (BIS Photo/Lisa Davis)
By Robyn Adderley
Bahamas Information Services