Junior Achievement of North Florida hosted 200 girls and young women from grades three to 12 for the 4th Annual Day of the Girl, a subprogram of the JA Girl$ Initiative, July 17, 2019. The event took place at the University of North Florida’s Student Union and was designed to prepare these girls and young women for economic success.
“We had such great response for this year’s event and were able to teach these young women and girls some important financial and life lessons that can help prepare them for the future,” said Steve St. Amand, president. “We appreciate all the volunteers who took time to give these girls some great hands-on lessons to learn from and for helping us open their minds to new opportunities. The curriculum is designed to help these youth really understand the power of their choices.”
State Attorney Melissa Nelson was the opening speaker. After the speech, the girls broke up into groups and rotated through nine different workshops led by about 80 female professionals from a number of businesses including At Table Coaching Inc., Voya Financial, AT&T STEM Committee, Jacksonville Dixie Blues, Finastra, EmpowerCREATIVE! Studios, and UNF’s Admissions Office. Local businesswomen also led the JA Reverse Job Shadow where the students could visit each of the stations to ask questions and find out more about different career fields.
“I thought that it was an awesome day of girl power,” said Ivie Pope, an event volunteer. “I believe in empowering ‘little’ women to grow into supportive ‘big’ women. It is imperative that we all as women know how to support and encourage one another.”
The workshops included a lesson on self-esteem and image led by At the Table Coaching. The women of Voya Financial taught money-management skills and personal finance. Female professionals from the AT&T STEM committee taught STEM career options, and representatives of the Jacksonville Dixie Blues talked about leadership on and off the field. The students were also instructed on code by presenters from Finastra and learned how to “manage emotions like a boss” from Dr. Phenessa Gray, founder of EmpowerCREATIVE! Studios.
When asked about a favorite part of the day, one participant said, “I learned that it’s good to ration out your monthly income for different things you purchase. I loved touring the college (UNF) and learning about what it offers. I also loved the Hour of Code. I learned that you can do anything you set your mind to.”
Additional volunteers from Ally Financial, EY, and PNC took part in the day. Remmer Family Foundation was the sponsor and Publix was an in-kind contributor.