First daughter, Ashley P. Turner (second from r) with Dr. Jonita Wallace Reynolds (second from l) and Loretta Williams Gurnell (second-row center) with the leading ladies at the SUPERGirls Shine Foundation Leading Ladies and Girl Empowerment Tea.
by Charmain Hudson
The SUPERGirls SHINE Foundation “Leading Ladies and Girls Empowerment Tea” was held in the month of January for young ladies and women involved in STEM initiatives and leadership opportunities. Mothers and daughters came from as far as New Orleans to participate in this event which promotes excellence. The foundation originated in 2015, by Managing Partner and CEO, Loretta Williams Gurnell at the request of mothers who were engaged in the SUPERlady LIVE MOMENTS (which trains young female college/graduate students as SHINE Reps to conduct interactive conversations with the young girls who are a part of the foundation). The program serves young girls around the Houston Metropolitan area from Sunnyside to Spring, Texas. The ages range from 10- 17 years old. With the help of SHINE mentors, the young ladies build character and leadership skills with the women leaders involved in the STEM program.
Hosted by Dr. Jonita Wallace Reynolds, CEO of the Gulf Coast Community Services Association and where the event was held, it had in attendance the following leading ladies; Dr. Tonya Jeffrey, Director of the Center for Educational Programs: UH- Clear Lake, Mary Ann Shallberg, retired executive: UH – Clear Lake & Community Philanthropist, Dr. Michelle Peters, tenured Associate Professor of Research & Applied Statistics – UH – Clear Lake), Marilyn S. Sims, Attorney: Weycer, Kaplan, Pulaski, & Zuber, P.C. and Debbie Moseley, Executive Director: The Bridge Over Troubled Waters.
First Daughter, Ashley P. Turner was the guest speaker. Her father is Houston Mayor, Sylvester Turner. During the event, Ashley was asked a series of questions about her triumphs and failures throughout her life where she gave encouragement and advice to the SUPERGirls in attendance.
“Not everything goes as planned and there are things that you can’t control,” she said on speaking about her experiences growing up. Ashley also spoke on the ups and downs of social media and how it affects people’s lives, especially young girls. “As much as I like social media you can not let people’s statuses determine who you are. If you fail then I fail because we were not looking out for one another,” she spoke. When asked what was her SUPERpower? She responded, “Learning and understanding people’s motives and acting accordingly. We have to learn how to build relationships and see each other’s value.”
For the main event, the girls were taught etiquette and the history of the empowerment tea by SUPERGirls program coordinator, Denise Mosley. Each girl had the opportunity to choose from various flavors of tea while pairing it with delicious cheesecake bites and cookies. The leading ladies also participated in the festivities as each woman sat at a table with the SUPERGirls where they chatted and engaged with one another.
The SUPERGirls SHINE Foundation is a 501(c)3 Non-profit Organization for young girls and women. Mission Statement: To engage, empower and develop tweens, teens and young ladies into impactful game changers through character development and leadership with a focus on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). With wonderful leaders and a family environment, the foundation’s goal is to guide these ladies in the right direction. To learn more about SUPERGirls SHINE Foundation please visit their website at supergirlsshine.com.
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Washington, DC – Sat., Feb 24, 2018
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