A conference sponsored by professional women of color is helping middle school African-American girls envision their futures.
The Madison Wisconsin chapter of The Links sponsored an annual conference for African-American middle school girls, “Yes I Can, Yes I Will.” More than 60 girls were invited to attend the conference, focusing on the social and academic tools to “empower and enhance their lives.”
The conference was originally intended for eighth grade girls. It evolved last year to develop continuing relationships with the girls throughout middle school. Most of the participants this year attended last year during sixth grade. They will be invited back next year during eighth grade.
Sustaining relationships with the girls is the key to measuring the success of the conference, according to co-chair Corinda Rainey-Moore.
“We wanted to bring them back to see the progress they made and work on giving them tools to improve their outcomes,” she said. “We wanted to have girls work through some of the real-life issues that they are facing in school and give them some positive outcomes of dealing with those issues. We oftentimes hear about the negative, but we wanted to let the girls know about the positive alternatives.”