This Saturday at St. Francis College in Brooklyn, New York, approximately 100 high school girls from the New York area gathered for a day-long event focused on the empowerment of women. The Gye Nyame Empowerment Project, pronounced “jean-yuh me,” is a New York-based non-profit organization that presents the annual Sista-2-Sista seminar for young women of color. The students experienced an inspiring day of panel discussions, workshops and live entertainment, centered around self-awareness. The panel discussions were led by leaders from several fields, such as actor Malik Yoba, writer Michaela Angela Davis, DJ Beverly Bond, hip hop activist Rosa Clemente, and more. The young girls participated in seminars such as the “Wellness Experience,” “Healthy Relationships,” “Forgiveness Circle,” “Representation of Pan-African Women in Media,” “Overcoming Barriers and Vision Boards,” and “Community Activism.” spoke to some of the blooming teens about their experience at the summit and how they felt about interacting with some of their community’s brightest minds. Stephanie, 14 “My favorite seminar was the ‘Forgiveness Circle.’ I learned the importance of not holding grudges because basically I am only hurting myself. You have to forgive yourself before you can forgive anyone else. And, once you can forgive yourself, you can forgive anyone. I met some incredible role models that taught me that. I will carry the information I learned with me for the rest of my life.” Kendall, 18 “I had to get up at 5 am just to be here at 9, but it was worth it. This is my second year attending and I had a great experience. I learned a lot of things about the importance of eating healthy at the “Wellness Experience” workshop.” Naima, 16 “I learned that I can’t be scared of being honest with myself. I need to learn how to love myself more and not be afraid of taking chances. I really had a great time, it’s a great opportunity. I got to meet so many great African American men and women.” Founder Akua Soadwa “I am really, really excited about the success of the summit. It just grows every year. We have girls that come back, we have new girls, everybody just loves it. I am blessed to have the team that pulls it all together and people who are willing to volunteer and share their insight and experiences with the young women. It is a necessary thing for our young girls.” Read more: