Approximately 500 high school females from Aldine ISD and Spring ISD converged onto Davis High School on March 2. The inaugural I Am Beautiful — Female Empowerment Summit was a free, full-day event that allowed female students to hear from featured speakers and attend breakout sessions that focused on goal-setting, strategic planning, self-esteem, college and career readiness, anti-bullying, social media, and healthy relationships.
Workshops were led by speakers from the Houston area who are dedicated to improving the lives of young women. High school counselors selected and invited the students to attend the summit.
Before students headed into the breakout sessions, they got to hear from several leaders. The guest speakers shared personal stories of their accomplishments, failures and overcoming hardships. Today they are all making a positive impact in their communities.
Superintendent of Schools LaTonya M. Goffney shared how she overcame poverty and hardships. She lauded her grandmother who took her in and raised her. It was Dr. Goffney’s grandmother who taught her about love and acceptance. Goffney also praised her teachers who made her aspire to more in life.
“Today is about ensuring you understand that you have opportunities and choices. You define who you are and where you want to be.“
U.S. Congresswoman Sylvia R. García exclaimed that the summit was a wonderful way to celebrate Women’s History Month. García herself made history in the November 2018 elections. She and Veronica Escobar became the first Texas Latinas elected to Congress. García talked about her hardships growing up in poverty. It was García’s mother who pushed her to aim higher.
“Believe in yourself and what you are capable of,” said García. “Never let anyone tell you are less or unworthy. Aim high and be willing to do the work needed to reach your dreams. I encourage you to serve your community, your city, your state, and this nation. “
Dr. Kimberley Booker, Booker, CEO and founder of Young Ladies of Elegance (YLOE), shared that she created her organization to uplift young women by building their self-esteem. Booker is an AISD Board Trustee.
Ashley P. Turner, executive director of community relations at Lone Star College and First Daughter of Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, talked about inner beauty, staying positive and supporting the sisterhood. She asked the young ladies to focus on personal and professional growth.
Female officers from the Houston Police Department, Harris County Sheriff’s Office, Aldine ISD PD, and Spring ISD PD also spoke to the participants.
Event organizers and volunteers included the District’s Guidance and Counseling Office staff, digital learning specialists, and Young Ladies of Elegance (YLOE). They also included members of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. – Omicron Tau Omega Chapter as well as student organizations from Prairie View A&M University, Lone Star College, and BakerRipley.
Director of Written Communication & Spanish Media
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