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Dare to board – A reflection of a journey of strong young women, empowerment and inspiration

Hey there, fellow advocates of girl power and unstoppable change! Buckle up for a whirlwind ride through Soroptimist International Anaparima’s Mentorship Program that unfolded over four Saturdays in July-August. As we fasten our seatbelts, let’s dive into the exhilarating twists and turns that defined this unforgettable journey of transformation, laughter, and empowerment.

Picture this: 19 vibrant young women taking charge of their destinies. Our mission? To inspire passions into action, aspirations into reality. This program wasn’t just a mere initiative; it was at the very core of what Soroptimism stands for- empowering women and girls to reach their full potential.

We kicked things off with a mental health session that had us all nodding in agreement. From understanding distress to a crash course in tackling anxiety, we dissected it all. And let’s not forget the classic “When to Get Help” guide – because embracing your superhero cape includes knowing when to ask for backup!

Oh, and the Coping Carnival – a ride we all know too well. Turns out, we’ve been using unhealthy coping strategies that have more twists than a mystery novel. So, we donned our detective hats and hunted down the positive coping gems, polishing our tool belts for a victorious future.

Amidst the mental health module, a serene yoga session provided a respite for the young ladies. Guided by an expert, this practice allowed us to tune into body and mind, a skill crucial for any superhero’s journey. The deliberate movements and focused breathing served as tools to manage stress and cultivate inner strength. This reminded us that self-care is a foundation of empowerment, intertwining mental and physical prowess. As we concluded, we carried the tranquillity and mindfulness with us, equipping our heroes to face challenges with supercharged resilience.

For our next session, we jumped headfirst into a financial adventure, discovering the hidden treasures of financial wellness. This session unveiled the magical powers of managing money (cue the invisible capes!) and saving for your goals. It was like discovering a secret stash of your favourite treat– except it’s gold coins for the future!

In the next module, we delved into personal branding and goal setting. Guided by experts, we embarked on a captivating exploration of crafting our very own personal brands. As we unravelled the threads of authenticity, we discovered that personal branding was about more than just image – it was a profound expression of our values, strengths, and aspirations. This module was a testament that empowerment lies in embracing our individual quirks and celebrating our distinctiveness.

Our creative gears kicked into overdrive with the Vision Board activity – a treasure map leading to our dreams. Who knew that a collage of images and words could be as powerful as an actual treasure chest? And hey, SMART goals? We took a deep dive into these, turning our dreams into bite-sized, achievable victories. Think of it as turning our to-do lists into a menu of triumphs – order up, empowerment!

Hold on tight because the star-studded part of the ride is coming up! Ache Abrahams, the Trinidad and Tobago delegate for Miss World 2023, graced us with her presence. Our room turned into a powerhouse of inspiration as she spilled the beans on her own personal journey. With Ache by our side, we realized that even queens have their challenges – and those sparkly crowns? They’re the icing on a journey of strength and determination. Ache exemplified the idea that beauty goes beyond appearances; it lies in the strength, resilience, and drive to make a positive impact on the world.

As we approached the end of this exhilarating adventure, we took a detour into the world of health. Menstrual health, general checkups, and cancer screening – we left no stone unturned. Because every superhero needs a health checkup and a cape, right?

We even added a vibrant Zumba session to our journey. This dynamic activity encapsulated the essence of holistic well-being, combining physical vitality with the exhilaration of movement. Led by an enthusiastic instructor, the Zumba session became a celebration of unity and self-expression, emphasizing that empowerment encompasses both body and mind. Beyond the physical benefits, this shared experience reinforced our program’s message: that empowerment is an ongoing process rooted in embracing challenges and finding joy in new experiences.

As the curtains draw on this exhilarating odyssey, I stand humbled and proud to have been a co-lead of this transformative Mentorship Program. This initiative resonates deeply within my heart. The power of mentorship, as showcased in these four Saturdays of growth and empowerment, is truly remarkable. It has the capacity to ignite sparks of change, to breathe life into aspirations, and to sculpt resilient young women who are ready to embrace the world.

This remarkable journey of empowerment and growth wouldn’t have been conceivable without the steadfast commitment of our mentors – each a subject matter expert, generously offering their time, knowledge, and unbridled passion. The constellation of psychologists, marketing virtuosos, medical sages, and a mindset coach illuminated our paths. Their dedication to guiding and uplifting our young ladies transformed our expedition into a realm of limitless possibilities. Their selflessness showcases the extraordinary power of collaboration and mentorship.

The significance of mentorship cannot be understated – it’s the beacon that guides our younger generation, imparting invaluable wisdom and support that shapes their trajectories. Mentorship aligns seamlessly with Soroptimism’s ideals, amplifying the notion that empowered women empower others, and the ripple effects of this transformation are boundless. It’s been an honour to lead alongside dedicated individuals, shaping a legacy of inspiration and empowerment. As we bid adieu to our second installment of our IMPACT Programme, I’m filled with gratitude for the moments shared and the lives impacted. Here’s to the potential unleashed and the lives transformed. Here’s to mentorship, here’s to empowerment, and here’s to a brighter future!

Written by: Reynelle Mark