On Saturday 8th October, pupils in Years 7, 8, 9 and 10, attended Villa Park where they attended an event called Reach Next Generation Girls Summit.
The Summit was for girls aged 11-15 years old. They listened to a range of successful female guest speakers from all backgrounds and sectors that shared their pathways and life stories with them. It was an interactive, empowering, and energising day which all the girls participated in very well.
Below, Jessica in 8 Snowdon has shared her reflections on the day:
Hosted by Reach co-founder Sarah Stirk , the empowerment summit commenced at 9:30 sharp in the luxurious halls of the Aston Villa Football Club. After a brief outline of the day’s events, the 2022 workshop, designed to encourage girls from ages 11-15 to think about their position and futures in the fast-paced world, started with an inspirational talk from one of my favourite speakers of the day. Mirela Sula rose from the abyss of a difficult childhood of abuse to become a successful young woman. She had a growth mindset which empowered her to adopt the mantra ‘no one will give you what you want because you ask, you have to take it’ . This infused Mirela with the strength of character that she needed to achieve her dreams.
Following on from this remarkable speech, we heard from a series of marvelous women who highlighted to us the need to be endowed with ambition, self confidence and strong money management skills, advice which is especially useful in these worrying times where financial instability seems to be rampant across the globe. In addition to this, we met former Big Brother contestant Ife Thomas and Sinead Quinn (the Head of Commercial from the Aston Villa Women Football Club). Unassailably another highlight of mine was word artist Kenya Juma, who passed on to us how she utilized her insecurities to become an entrepreneur. After suffering years of affliction from the skin condition eczema, Kenya decided to tackle the problem head on. She now manufactures natural, vegan, cruelty free cream to help other sufferers combat the condition that once threatened to undermine her ability to succeed. Kenya emphasized to us that we needed to have a goal and have a ‘why?’. Your reason for achieving that goal. That driving factor that propels you to not stop until you taste success. Adhering to her own advice, Kenya became an entrepreneur at the tender age of 13. As she revealed these steps to us, she reminded each of us that “You are the author of your life.’
Priscilla Jones finished the day with her energizing renditions of songs from ‘The Greatest Showman’ just one of the many soundtracks with which she has been involved during her prestigious career in the music industry. ‘Ohh ohh ohh this is me’ we all chanted and sang in harmonising unison that filled the halls with glee and rejuvenated our tired bodies. A few brave souls even sang aloud into the mic sharing their resplendent voices to a ubiquitous motivational song, somehow now imbuing it with new life and new meaning for each of us.
I now leave you with some words of wisdom that were passed on to me during this truly beneficial event. A girl should be two things, who and what she wants’ states Annika Allen and ‘Decide what you want, have the confidence to get it and be consistent’ remarked Ife Thomas.