Girls, teens learn to embrace goals, dreams


Tahlia Williams, founder of Embracing Destiny, welcomes participants to the Vision Board Workshop hosted by Embracing Destiny and held last Saturday at Library Partnership.

AIDA MALLARD/Special to the Guardian
Published: Wednesday, May 8, 2013 at 2:27 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, May 8, 2013 at 2:27 p.m.

Nearly 37 young girls and teens spent Saturday afternoon thinking about their educational and career goals and learning how to make those goals a reality.

They were the future lawyers, doctors, stockbrokers, psychiatrists, teachers, engineers, hair stylists, fashion designers and other professionals who attended a free Vision Board Workshop held Saturday at Library Partnership and sponsored by Embracing Destiny, a mentoring and leadership development program for girls and young women.

Tahlia Williams, founder of Embracing Destiny, said this was the organization’s first workshop in Gainesville.

“This is just the beginning,” said Williams, a program coordinator for the Alachua County CHOICES program. “The turnout is amazing and the response overwhelming.”

The girls received a “Dream Big!” mantra to keep them focused on their dream.

“They will learn a mantra, and when they feel like they’re getting far away from their goal,” Williams said, “they can say the mantra and re-energize.”

She told the girls: “What you can create mentally is what you can create in your life.”

Each girl received a canvas bag with school supplies donated by St. Leo University. They also received raffle tickets for books, bracelets and other items donated by local vendors. Everyone enjoyed pizza.

Williams told the girls to surround themselves with positive people who can help them to accomplish their goals and to set a timeline for achieving those goals. She said realizing goals include finishing high school, surrounding themselves with positive people, setting high goals, being a dream chaser and having faith. She said people without dreams or goals surround themselves with negativity and hang around with people who are going nowhere.

The participants were encouraged to browse through a stack of magazines and cut out words and images that reflected their personality and their goals, which they then pasted on a vision board. They also signed and dated the board to save as a reminder of their goals.

The girls discussed their goals. Ieashia Jones, who graduated from Eastside High School, said her goal is to own her own hair salon. “I came to support my sisters and cousins, but I’m glad I came,” she said. “I forget about my goals and this (workshop) reminds me to start working on my goals before I’m too old.”

Keyonna Brinson, a sixth-grader at Howard Bishop Middle School and Ieashia’s sister, said her goal is to be a fashion designer and sell her clothes at Ieashia’s hair salon.

Keyonna liked the workshop. “Everybody is getting together, laughing, having fun and thinking about their goals,” she said.

Keyauri Mosley, a third-grader at Metcalfe Elementary, wants to own a day care center. “I want to help kids,” she said.

The workshop received high praise.

“I think it’s a great program for inspiring young girls in a positive way,” said Elise Phillips, who brought her two daughters, Jadin Hobdy, a sixth-grader at Fort Clarke Middle School, and Autumn James, a first-grader at Meadowbrook Elementary.

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