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Schoolgirls complete leadership programme

Pupils from Bermuda High School and schoolgirls from the public sector yesterday marked the end of a programme designed to foster leadership skills in young women.

The She Leads programme, held at Bermuda High School in Hamilton, also included girls from CedarBridge Academy and the Berkeley Institute and was set up to foster “leading self, leading others, and leading by example”.

Cerra Simmons, 17, the head girl at BHS, said: “There was clearly a lot of hard work and thought put into the programme, you could tell by the speakers that were chosen.”

She added: “Having the tools from this programme makes it seem more possible to be a female leader.”

The guest speakers included Suzanne Kahn from health store Naked Zero, who Iannah Caines, a BHS pupil, said was “really impactful”.

Ms Kahn spoke to the girls about “making conscious decisions today to shape your future tomorrow”.

Iannah, 17, said: “I feel really empowered and supported after listening to a variety of inspiring women in the Bermuda community.”

Destani Warner, 17, a pupil at the Berkeley Institute, said: “A lot of people feel like leaders are born, but they're moulded, so listening to all the guest speakers proved to us that they've had the same struggles as us, and they showed us ways to overcome them.”

The girls gathered at HSBC's Harbourview offices in Hamilton to give their final presentations after a week of workshops and seminars with businesswomen from several industries on the island.

The programme was created and led by Christie Hunter Arscott, a gender and generations strategist, who works in Bermuda and overseas as a leadership adviser.

Ms Hunter Arscott worked with BHS to develop the She Leads programme.

It is part of the I Lead programme, a wider leadership programme for all BHS pupils.

A total of 23 senior pupils took part in the She Leads scheme.

Ms Hunter Arscott hoped the event would create a “ripple effect” to boost leadership among women.

She said the week was “memorable and impactful” and that she was “moved by this phenomenal group of young women from all walks of life”.

The young women were introduced to decision making, time management, financial literacy, public speaking, and networking over the weeklong course.

Other speakers included Gaynete Jones, the founder and CEO of personal development company GAME Changing Industries.

The girls also attended a panel discussion with guest speakers including Olympic athlete Shelley Pearson, creative entrepreneur Selange Gitschner of event planners Dasfete, Kidist Emery, the founder of hairdressers Salon Pink, and artist Lara Smith.

Participants in the programme also attended a “boot camp” hosted by guest coaches from WeSpeak, a women-led organisation set up to teach women of all ages on the island about public speaking.

In addition, the She Leads students learnt about self-care and participated in a Zumba class led by Jasmine DeSilva, the wellness strategist and fitness director at the Bermuda Wellness and Outreach Centre.

The guest speakers joined the principals and teachers of the three schools, as well as the Commissioner of Education Kalmar Richards and Diallo Rabain, the education minister.

The schoolgirls gave individual presentations that involved videos, poems, speeches, and visual art, as well as group presentations on a variety of topics from personal branding to self-confidence.

She Leads: pictured are, from left, Christie Hunter Arscott, gender and generations strategist; Linda Parker, Head of School, BHS; Kenneth Caesar, Principal, Cedarbridge Academy; Keisha Douglas, Principal, The Berkeley Institute; Judy Doidge, HSBC Executive Sponsor overseeing the BHS Charitable Trust partnership and She Leads programme (File photograph)

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Published July 06, 2019 at 9:00 am (Updated July 06, 2019 at 8:17 am)

Schoolgirls complete leadership programme

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