Illuminating a Brighter Pathway
Author: Katie Ballance
Published: Thursday, 16 Aug 2018
In just three days, 60 high school girls and more than 120 professional mentors made JA Her Path to Promise, presented by Chesapeake Human Resources Association (CHRA), an unforgettable and powerful experience -- tripling in size since last year!
Held at Towson University, this intensive summer program connected high school girls from The Y in Central Maryland and Girls Empowerment Mission (GEM) to new opportunities--including exposure to college campuses, career opportunities, female mentors, and hands-on activities--to begin the process of preparing for a successful life after graduation from high school.
The young women participated in various sessions and activities about professional business wear, confidence building, leadership skills, and college applications. One of the most memorable experiences included the mock interviews, where students had a chance to practice their interviewing skills and receive beneficial feedback to put into use.
“My favorite part of JA Her Path to Promise was the mock interviews because it showed us what it would be like when we really step into an interview," said Zoie, a JA Her Path to Promise student participant.
Students enjoyed an inspiring networking luncheon sponsored by Tenable, which included three leading ladies in their industries: Dr. Deb Moriarty, Vice President for Student Affairs, Towson University; Jill Shapiro, Senior Director of Global Government Affairs, Tenable; and Britta Vander Linden, Director of Partnerships and Program Development, Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing & Regulation. They provided words of wisdom to our participants about finding their path within their passions.
JA Her Path to Promise ended on a high note, where students heard an expert HR panel including Jennifer Ghazzouli, Vice President and Managing Director of Talent Acquisition, One Main Financial; Mark Hornberger, Executive VP and Chief Operating Officer, CPI New Options Group; Ashley Graham, Human Resources Generalist PANDORA; and Phaedra Stewart, Vice President of Human Resources, Lifebridge Health. They provided invaluable insight to stand out as a job candidate. Then, students put their knowledge and experience to the test at a career fair to meet and discuss future opportunities with local companies such as EZ Shield, Starbucks, Morgan Stanley, Whiting Turner and others.
“I know that the intent was to inspire the girls as they embark on their future, but I left feeling extremely inspired myself. They are a fantastic group of determined, motivated, smart young women and I have no doubt that they will achieve amazing things,” said Graham.
“JA Her Path to Promise does a great job helping girls find out about available career opportunities and some that I didn't even knew existed. I learned that if I put forth effort and determination, I can achieve my career goals,” said Irishia, a JA Her Path to Promise student. “The mock interviews boosted my confidence and strengthened my skills for interviews in my future.”