“Powherful Summit” draws together local students, leaders for empowerment


BIRMINGHAM, Ala (WIAT) — Local students, leaders, and national journalist Soledad O’Brien gathered yesterday during the “Powherful Summit” in downtown Birmingham.

The summit is designed to bring local girls and leaders together for an emphasis on educational, professional, and personal development. The summit also featured industry experts who presented on topics such as financial literacy; college preparations;  and careers in science, technology, math, and engineering.

CBS 42’s Sherri Jackson shared her story of success to the girls. The all-day event also featured break-out sessions where the girls discussed ways they could be successful in their lives.

O’Brien told the guests it’s all about overcoming obstacles, not what they were born with. “A lot of being successful is not about being born in a particular way or being born with opportunity. It’s about figuring out a strategy to get over whatever obstacles you have,” says O’Brien. “We basically sit around and talk about strategy to overcome things that might be put in your way.”

Yesterday’s event was sponsored by the Starfish Foundation, an organization O’Brien and Charreah Jackson, lifestyle and relationships editor of Essence Magazine, founded after Hurricane Katrina. The Starfish Foundation provides scholarships to deserving female students, while giving them support and resources to fit their needs. The organization has awarded 28 young women scholarships so far.

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