The sisters of My Sisters Keepers, held their conference for Sisters Kin-nect at the beautiful Mahaffey Theatre in St. Petersburg FL. The Mahaffey Theatre is known for its unparalleled entertainment and close proximity to downtown St. Petersburg, seats over 2,000 with a ballroom and spectacular waterfront view. It was the waterfront view that the ladies took advantage of during these pandemic times. The event was outdoors on Mahaffey's veranda which made the backdrop, a natural sunset in Florida.
The ladies honored three awardees and six graduates of their fellowship program. The awardees were honored in three segments, those that Invest in the community, those that Ignite the community and those that Inspire the community. Those honored were, Dr. Kanika Tomolin, the Deputy Mayor for St. Petersburg, for her investment into the areas of St. Pete that needed the most. Dr. Jefferey and Teasia Johnson were recognized for their inspiration for young girls with their program in Hillsborough County, Girls Summit. Lastly, Anjali, Queen B. of 95.7 with her work in the community igniting the residents through music, compassion and engagement.
Also recognized were the graduates of the fellowship program that help young ladies meet the unique cultural needs they face in growing and achieving their business and personal goals. Kay-Kay Smith, Shalia Moore-Hayes, Tamira Cheedy, Esther Eugene, Denise Solomon and Kristal Vasquez were recognized in the completion of this program.
Dr. Cynthia Johnson, Director of the Pinellas County Economic Development manages a team of 33 professionals and Bemetra Simmons, CEO of Tampa Bay Partnership collaborates with regional business leaders on improving the personal and economic well being of the citizens of Tampa Bay. Both
spoke to the audience about the Sister Kin-nect program and their involvement. They later participated in a town-hall type question and answer with Gyspy Gallardo, publisher of PowerBroker Magazine and one of the sponsors of the event.
Valerie Fulbright, VP of Community Engagement with First Home Bank was there representing her company for providing the fellowship graduates with some of the materials needed to complete the program.
My Sisters Keepers is a spin off from the program My Brothers Keepers that the Obama Administration ushered into existence to help inner city boys. The program has five milestones, "Getting a healthy start and entering school ready to learn, graduating from high school ready for college and career, completing post-secondary education or training, successfully entering the workforce, and keeping kids on track and giving them second chances". St. Petersburg adopted the initiative and expanded the program to include girls and young women—My Brother’s and Sister’s Keeper.
PHOTOS from the event