'We Inspire' encourages girls to incite social change in schools

BY DEANDRA MORRISON
Staff reporter
morrisond@jamaicaobserver.com

Sunday, May 06, 2018

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The 'We Inspire Girls to be Strong Women' High School Tour — an initiative spearheaded by CEO of We Inspire, Cortia Bingham — last week concluded its third cycle with the announcement of its social change competition winner at the Courtleigh Hotel in St Andrew.

The Ministry of Education-endorsed event has spanned 32 schools so far since launching in 2017 with the aim of motivating teenage girls to become strongwomen.

“We have been going across the island with very influential and strong women who motivate and encourage our young girls to become women of worth, dignity, value, integrity and to make decisions today that will make them proud in the future,” Bingham told the Jamaica Observer.

She added that the Social Change Plan competition was geared towards encouraging students to “take charge of their destiny”.

Students from the Dunoon Technical High, Claude McKay High, Holy Childhood High and Belair High schools proposed various projects at the closing ceremony, which included the use of robotics, conflict resolution initiatives and self-love and care movements that could possibly incite change in their school community.

However, it was Tiffany Drummond from Dunoon Park Technical High in Kingston who won the hearts of judges and a $50,000 grand prize to aid with the implementation of her initiative to teach young girls and boys to value themselves.

We Inspire will also provide Drummond with mentorship for one year and a $100,000 scholarship to contribute to school fees and books in the upcoming school year.

“I am excited and I know everyone at school will also be excited to know that we came together and made this plan and we came out on top,” said the speechless Grade 10 student.

Drummond said she hoped the implementation of the project would help students at her school to be more creative, less-laid back, and to have more dignity.

Drummond was also commended by judges for her captivating personality and the originality of the social change plan.

The student pointed out that after the We inspire Girls campaign came to Dunoon Park Technical and encouraged girls to respect themselves there was a drastic change in the overall attitude of how the girls behaved and related to each other.

Dorothy Miller of Claude McKay High School was also greeted with a pleasant surprise after an individual, who declined to be named, pledged to donate $50,000 to her holistic self-care social change plan.

Miller explained that she wanted to incite change by providing students with the means of caring for themselves physically, spiritually and mentally.

Operations manager at Marc's Designs, Marc Frankson, who was among the panel of judges for the competition, told the Sunday Observer that he was impressed with the presentations and that choosing a winner was not an easy task.

“It was a challenging decision to look at the programmes because each student had something of valuable to contribute to their individual community. I hope that even though we had a winner today that each of these girls will go back and try to implement the programmes that they proposed,” he said.

Frankson said that he was pleased that the students were aware of the challenges that faced their school population and commended their efforts to propose a solution.

Meanwhile, Bingham said she was thankful that the Western Inspire Girls campaign has been successful; she dubbed it as “an amazing journey” that has impacted many lives including those who had low, self-esteem issues and even contemplated suicide.

“I believe that if you have better women, you will have a better Jamaica, simply because it's the women who birth our boys and the women who play an integral role in parenting. I believe the impact is greatest when we provide the tools for women to become better mothers, wives, daughters and CEOs.”

Bingham said campaign will restart for cycle four in September this year.

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