ST. LOUIS, Mo. – Fontbonne University welcomed The Pearl Club, a national non-profit organization that has the mission to educate, empower and support young women to overcome poverty, to campus last week where they hosted its first St. Louis Empowerment Conference for high school aged women.
“The speeches everyone gave were very influential,” Nya Givens said. “They didn’t just talk about the good things, but they talked about the downfalls and rising up and staying up. It was nice to hear and understand that I’m not the only one that experiences downfalls while I am in school.”
Givens is currently in her senior year at Ritenour High School. She said that she learned a lot while attending the conference but really learned how expensive college is going to be.
At the “Pearls with a Purpose” Empowerment Conference, 81 young women, sponsored by The Pearl Club Board and Friends, spent the day participating in workshops, learning from established professionals, over topics that were specifically chosen to educate, empower and enrich the attendees to more easily navigate womanhood, college and their early career.
“Fontbonne was so great in hosting us and giving us the hospitality to expose the young women to the college campus,” Tamasia Johnson, Executive Director of The Pearl Club said. “They were able to tour the college campus, sit in classrooms and really experience what it feels like to be on a college campus.”
The day conference included workshops titled: My Money Mindset; My Personal Brand; My Greatest Strength; My Mind. My Body. My Self-Care. and My Elevator Pitch among others.
“This is an annual event that is mostly held on the east coast. We made history in St. Louis with our first event in teaching young women what it means to be a woman today and how to walk with your head held high,” Johnson said.
Johnson said that hosting 81 high school students at their first conference in St. Louis was a huge accomplishment for The Pearl Club. She also noted that their keynote speaker, who honed in on the message of the power of women and sisterhood, brought a great day of skill set and learning for the young women.
“Attending the conference taught me to be strong and acknowledge that I am a strong woman and I can do anything I put my mind to,” Givens said. “It’s good to hear that as I get ready to go into college.”
The Pearl Club offers a seven-year program to its members that includes access to mentors, college preparation and success workshops and other enrichment activities beginning in the tenth grade and continuing through college and beyond.
“To me, The Pearl Club means strength, beauty, leadership,” Givens said. “When I think of The Pearl Club, I think of an ideal womanhood that I look up to.”
Looking forward, Johnson said that The Pearl Club hopes to secure two more high school partnerships in the St. Louis region. Their program will begin in January. In February, The Pearl Club will be hosting a fundraiser to combine their message and give attendees something fun to do.
FEATURED IMAGE/Pearls with a Purpose Empowerment Conference/FONTBONNE UNIVERSITY