Women Who Lead in Jacksonville

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On March 5, Empowerment Resources, Inc. held the 12th Annual Journey Into Womanhood Celebration to recognize achievements and “rites-of-passage” of more than thirty young girls ages 9-17, including two graduating seniors. Empowerment Resources Inc. (ERI) is a private 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization located in Jacksonville, Florida that was established in 2002. ERI’s mission is to make children and their families stronger and empower them to become successful leaders in the community today, for a better tomorrow.

The celebration’s theme was “Women Who Lead,” and there were many stars in the room! Thirty young girls walked the red carpet individually and there was a wonderful showcase of talent — sewn rompers, kimono jackets, handbags and an original skit written and performed by one of the Journey Into Womanhood graduating seniors.

Our COO Bernice  and I attended the celebration to show our support of women who lead! I’ve been volunteering with Empowerment Resources, Inc. for a few years now and it’s always inspiring to see young ladies share their hopes and dreams for the future.

Mistress of Ceremonies were Kumasi Aaron, reporter and co-anchor of the weekend morning show on WJXT-TV Channel 4, The Local Station and Jessica Polote, an alumnus of the Journey Into Womanhood program.

Panelists that shared candid advice with guests:

Melanie Lawson, Anchor/Reporter at WJXT-TV Channel 4, The Local Station

Sabeen Perwaiz, Executive Director of Florida Nonprofit Alliance and Co-Organizer and Executive Producer of TEDxJacksonville

Cassie Sadowitz, Deputy General Counsel, Jacksonville Jaguars and Co-founder/CEO of Spysie Tech

Here’s a couple of quotes from the Women Who Lead:

When addressing growth in your career. “You have to be open to feedback that you’re going to get. But also be open to opportunity. It may not always be a trajectory  going straight up.” – Sabeen Perwaiz

When asked who inspired your career path. I was inspired by what didn’t inspire me. We all have talents and skills. The key is finding those out when you’re young and honing them. – Melanie Lawson

“I grew into myself. I never knew I was going to be a lawyer yet alone a sports lawyer. Don’t be afraid to take risks and challenge yourself.” – Cassie Sadowitz

Click here to learn more about Empowerment Resources, Inc. plus you’ll hear more advice from the Women Who Lead panelists!

ERI Executive Director & JIW Seniors

ERI Women Who Lead Panelists


Aleta Turner

Ale'ta is a Communications + Special Events Pro. Ale'ta is also an aspiring fictional author and blogger.

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