For the students at Young Women’s Preparatory Academy, the annual Women’s Symposium is an empowering event.
Think part career day, part pep talk, part leadership school.
The 8-year-old tradition makes the students think about life beyond their classes.
“It’s great for them to share their experiences with the students. Not only their success stories but also the roadblocks. They are role models,” said Concepcion I. Martinez, the principal at YWPA, 1150 SW First St., Little Havana.
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On March 16, about 35 successful women spoke to the school of around 400 6th- through 12th-graders. Students, split into small groups, listened and asked questions.
The goal of the event is to empower young women to begin exploring future careers.
Camila Lara, 18, a senior at YWPA and the president of her class, has participated in several symposiums.
“I feel that I have grown so much,” she said. “The leadership that is presented by these women really does encourage me. It sets an example for me that everything is possible regardless of social standards.”
The students heard about careers in technology, social media, commercial real estate, banking and law. A representative with the CIA also spoke to the students.
Cristina Lumpkin, an attorney at Bilzin Sumberg and the president of CREW Miami (Commercial Real Estate Women), said her organization seeks to help women make career choices.
“This a chance to tell these young women about all these opportunities they don’t know exist,” Lumpkin said. “I think it’s really important for them to get an idea of all those different opportunities. It’s very valuable because they are at a time now where they are trying to figure out what they want to be when they grow up.”