Saturday, the Starfish Foundation hosted the “Powherful Summit” in Birmingham for over 200 high school juniors, seniors and college-aged women. Featuring a full day of workshops that emphasize educational, professional, and personal development, the summit aimed to empower young women by introducing them to high-powered women who have overcome their own obstacles and know how to inspire and motivate others.
The Starfish Foundation, started by award-winning broadcast journalist Soledad O’Brien and her husband Brad Raymond, endeavors to help young women succeed despite the odds.
According to WIAT, O’Brien told conference guests it’s all about overcoming obstacles, not what they were born with. “A lot of being successful is not about being born in a particular way or being born with opportunity. It’s about figuring out a strategy to get over whatever obstacles you have,” said O’Brien. “We basically sit around and talk about strategy to overcome things that might be put in your way.”
The summit also highlighted industry experts who presented on topics such as financial literacy; college preparations; and careers in science, technology, math, and engineering.
O’Brien told AL.com, “We chose to bring PowHERful™ to Alabama, the 6th poorest area in the country, because we know that this is a place where education decreases poverty. We were optimistic that young people, particularly those who are members of racial or ethnic minorities, could profit from new opportunities and increased resources.”
In 2016, the Powherful Summit will host seven conferences across the country in Tampa, New Orleans, New York, Cleveland, Minneapolis, and Los Angeles, reaching thousands of young women.