A few weeks back I spoke on a Career Panel with my mentee’s mentees who participate in a program called NYU Reaching Out. It is a mentorship program for high school girls created by a group of NYU Opportunity Program students. The other panelists and I shared advice on how to position yourself for success in college and in your career. One of the panelists had this suggestion to share: to find your warm place. This is not a hippie way of saying go where you’re comfortable, but rather surround yourself with like-minded, supportive individuals.
In recollection of my own path, I found “warm places” in various organizations including Management Leadership for Tomorrow (MLT), NYU Opportunity Programs and WEST just to name a few. They all supported and invested in my growth in different ways, which prepared me to become the person I am today, and supports my continuous evolution. MLT provided a warm place for me to grow as a professional, NYU OP provided the warm place for me to grow as a student and WEST provided the warm place for me to grow as young woman. While I greatly owe my foundation to my amazing mother, these groups greatly influenced my capacity to build and achieve my goals.
Women of Excellence, Strength and Tenacity, Inc. (WEST) consists of young women who are college students, graduate students and young professionals. We also coordinate a mentoring program for 5th grade girls at The Harriet Tubman Learning Center (PS 154). We meet in Harlem and participate in monthly community service projects and social events. We are a 501(c)3 nonprofit entity with a very bold mission to empower women, regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation or social status.We work to develop the gifts, talents and leadership abilities of all young women as they become influential voices in the global world. This year I am proud to say that WEST and I will be springing forward at our 3rd Annual Empowerment Conference. As an active member for 3 years, I look forward to our event themed “Triumph Over Trials”. Rightly named, nothing worth having is easy, and the ladies of WEST have certainly worked hard for the past 2 conferences leading up to this one. We expect double the attendance of our first event, and we have extraordinary guest speakers including Liz Black, Phyllis Yvonne Stickney and Erica Ford.
Workshops include Declaring Financial Independence, Building Quality Relationships from a Male’s Perspective, Women in Media: MissRepresentation and many more.
On Saturday, March 31, 2012 join us while finding your warm place and build!