February 25 marked the first weekend retreat for 16 girls of the Girls Empowerment and Motivational Sessions high school club.
The programme is operated by Cayman Youth Inclusive Programs and facilitates an after school club for girls, ages 11-14, at John Gray and Clifton Hunter high schools.
The retreat was held at the Grand Caymanian Resort in George Town.
Addressing the girls were Vanessa Hansen and April Cummings of WestStar TV, who related their unique stories of how they achieved success in spite of life obstacles.
Retreat presenters also included staffers at The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman. Fabian Bornefeld, Carleene Salmon and Catherine De Looper led the girls in self-awareness exercises and the importance of having a positive attitude.
Officer Kahlisha Barbarom, also present, led a motivational discussion outlining various aspects of achieving success.
Programme director Diana Johnson said, “One of the main goals of the retreat was to reinforce the club’s motto ‘In order to achieve, you must first believe that you can.’ I believe that if given the correct information and opportunities at this critical age in their lives, girls will be well equipped to make good decisions for their future.”
Other activities for the girls included swimming, team-building games, a spa session and informal discussions.
On Sunday February 26, 2012, the girls attended church service at First Assembly of God where club president, 13-year-old Ariel Oliver, delivered a speech encouraging all girls to believe in themselves.