Happy Birthday, Strong Women, Strong Girls!! That was the dedicated theme to this year’s Jump Into Spring in Boston. Held at the Melnea A Cass Recreation Complex in Roxbury, MA–a very befitting venue–over 400 girls, 250 mentors, 60 adult volunteers, 30 parents, participated in this inspirational and empowering day in commemoration of the organization’s milestone anniversary.
Four-time Keynote Speaker, Ayanna Pressley, Boston City-Councilor-at-Large, delivered her most powerful speech and encourage the girls to repeat a self-affirmation about their power and potential. Not only was Councilwoman Pressley’s speech inspiring for our girls, it was also redeeming for our mentors, who also look up to her.
Our Lady of Perpetual Help Mission Grammar Youth Step Team kicked off the celebration with a step performance. Amanda Gordon, mentor of the Simmons College SWSG Chapter and C-3 intern and J.U.M.P. Squad Coordinator, introduced our National President, Haviva Kohl. Following her introduction, our girls were introduced to three amazing women who served as the Mistresses of Ceremonies for the day: Shannon Curran, former mentor of the Simmons College SWSG Chapter and now Simmons College alumna, Jennie Holloway, current Chapter Director of Simmons College, and Jasmine Oliveira, current mentor and Media Coordinator of the University of Massachusetts, Boston SWSG Chapter.
Various workshops included: a self-defense class led by Girls Leap, a blood pressure and heart beat class led by Simmons College Nurses and Climb Corps, a science workshop led by Science Club for Girls, and a yoga class led by an SWSG friend! Throughout the Complex, SWSG Trivia was set up and provided the girls with a SWSG facts and history, all leading the girls to make a final pit stop at the giant birthday papier mâché cake! At this stop, the girls made a wish for SWSG and wrote about what makes them a strong girl! Biographies of 10 pre-selected women that have been highlighted in the past 10 years of SWSG curriculum, were displayed along the walls. Grlz Radio was present to capture the live entertainment and happens on air, while music was provided by DJ Kelli of DJour Entertaintment!
Additional performances were led by Northeastern University’s a cappella groups, the Nor’Easters and P!tch Please! Singing cover songs by famous artists, led the girls to ask questions and become fans while receiving autographs from the two groups. OrigiNation, Inc., a non-profit organization that utilizes innovative dance as an effective tool to promote self-esteem, leadership development, and self-sufficiency for youth between the ages of 2-18, was a grand success. Led by Managing Director, Ms. Musau Dibinga, and ladies of Imani, Jr., all participants learned four 8-count dance routine to Teen Beach Movie’s “Surf’s Up”. Check out the clip here, as seen through the lens of Program Manager, Kenyora Johnson.
A SPECIAL THANK YOU TO OUR PRESENTING SPONSOR:
Thank you to: Boston Organics, Tiffany’s Cupcakes, Hint Water, Pretzel Crisps, Melnea A Cass Recreation Complex, Nor’Easters, P!tch Please, Grlz Radio, OLPH Mission Grammar Youth Step Team, OrigiNation, Inc., Girls Leap, Science Club for Girls, Climb Corps, Simmons College Nurses, and DJ Kelli!
—Photo credit: Hannah Cohen – www.hannahcohenphotography.com—