At Personal Empowerment Project Career Day, Sky Was The Limit
by Amanda Castillo
At the Personal Empowerment Project (PEP)’s Career Day, the sky was the limit. The day brought together some 50 young girls from SCAN NY to explore the endless possibilities for future career paths and to teach them to reach for the stars.
The first panel kicked off the day and started discussion on how successful professionals found their way to their current role and what helped them along the way. It was an inspiring event, the girls learning to follow their dreams and that it’s ok for their dreams to change. The panelists explained their stories of struggle and how getting where they are now wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows. Shortly after the first panel, the girls were immediately astounded by their stories. One of the young girls attending, Gabriella Urena said,
“I have learned that you have to know what you want to be to grow up. You need to have confidence and believe that you can do it. I want to be a teacher and know that I have to follow my dreams.”
After an inspiring first panel, everyone worked up an appetite for lunch. The girls and panelists and PEP volunteers enjoyed munching together on chicken fingers while chatting about job hopes and dreams and jitters and joy. Many conversations filled the table including a very uplifting one between one of the panelists and a young lady with her dream career as a violinist and writer. The panelist, who is a journalist, asked the young girl questions about why she wanted to become a writer. As she shared her story, she reflected the passion for her work and a renewed energy in being able to share that with this strong, motivated aspiring young writer. The girls shared contacts, looking forward to keeping in touch and working together in the days and weeks ahead. The other girls had similar conversations with the other panelists in attendance, talking of their dreams to become teachers, doctors, or lawyers.
Learning over lunch was great brain food and got everyone excited for the final panel, which featured different panelists speaking about their careers. They also explained how high school and college played big roles on their way to success. Ines Rosales, traffic anchor from Fox 5’s Good Day New York paid a visit as a panelist and explained her story of being a Latina and making her way to Fox as a traffic reporter. Another panelist, Precious Williams, captured the attendees’ hearts as she spoke of being a victim of domestic violence and how she overcame that to become who she is today. Ruth Yupo said,
“Precious showed that you can be who you want to be even when people tell you that you can’t. Her mother hated her but she still went for her dream and achieved it. I also learned that you can choose your own side because one of the panelists was expected to become a doctor but she became a nurse.”
The icing on the cake was that everyone went home with a copy of the book, What Color Is Your Parachute? and a bookmark. The book will help the girls plan their careers, and gave them helpful tips to achieve the career of their dreams. The bookmark that came along with it provided resources from apps to scholarship searches and many things in between. Together, these two gifts afforded each of the girls with the unlimited opportunities to achieve success.
As the girls left, their newfound confidence lingered in the room. They realized that they are not limited by the area they are in or what they know now, but that they have the opportunity to learn and do whatever they want. The future of these young ladies is bright!