Sisterhood mentoring for 30 girls in St. John

by Sisterhood Agenda, Inc.

Participants in the Sisterhood Mentoring program attended a leadership information session coordinated with the local St. John Youth Coalition on December 8, 2014. They also volunteered at the 5th Annual Sisterhood Brotherhood New Year's Eve Youth Extravaganza event on December 31, 2014.

We are currently scheduling Sisterhood Mentoring girls to do volunteer work to help build the new Sisterhood Empowerment Academy (SEA). They are excited about having their own space to meet privately and confidentially in an uplifting, healing environment. The general contractor must first build the foundation in order to move to the next step in the building process.

In the meantime, we communicated with the University of the Virign Islands to use their meeting space for the youth leadership retreat coordinated with the local St. John Youth Coalition.  We are also coordinating faciliators for the event, scheduled for February 26, 2015.

Sisterhood Agenda is also coordinating SHE: Sisters Healthy & Empowered activities to include Sisterhood Mentoring participants since they also need holistic health and healing services.

Recently, Sisterhood Agenda enlisted the support of an outreach strategist to secure program sponsorship for the Sisterhood Mentoring program, plus special events and digital sponsors for sustainability.

We are all excited about our new space and having our programs there!  Thank you for your support!

New Year
New Year's Eve Youth Extravaganza

Our group of thirty girls in St. John has been reduced to ten after the majority of girls graduated and now attend high school on the island of St. Thomas.  With this ten, we are focusing on leadership training, sisterhood retreats, field trips, and paid employement positions so that they can "pay it forward" by helping their younger sisters.

Activities focus on peer mentoring, team building and mentoring young girls to build the Sisterhood Mentoring group back up to thirty through engagement of girls at the local elementary school. Leadership training and sisterhood retreats promote health and emotional well-being, healing from trauma, positive behavior, and goal-setting while offering paid employment opportunities for those whom are eligible.

The group is getting ready for the 5th Annual Sisterhood Brotherhood New Year's Eve Youth Extravaganza on December 31, 2014. The venue has been secured. We are receiving small businss sponsorships from local businesses and will plan the event's activities with youth in the Sisterhood Mentoring group and the St. John Youth Coalition.

It's going to be a great winter and a positive start to the new year!

Thank you for your support!  We continue to work with our younger sisters in St. John to provide them with love, guidance, and a safe space just for them. We are grooming them to become leaders by offering them constructive outlets for expansion and opportunities for career development and life skills.  In addition, we are in the process of creating a natural product created from local materials to mass produce and market that represents who they are and where they want to be.

Our new activities will focus on holisttic health and healing. Women and girls in the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI) experience higher than average rates of obesity/overweight, diabetes, teen pregnancy, sexually transmitted infections, substance abuse, and violence.

In the U.S., including its territories, one in three girls is sexually abused by age 18. Women are 50% more likely than men to have high adverse childhood experiences (ACEs). Those with high ACEs are significantly more likely to have mental health and substance abuse problems, chronic physical illnesses, and early death. Women with high ACEs are prone to depression, are more likely to become victims of rape and domestic violence; two-thirds of all suicide attempts are attributable to ACEs.

While tourists generally come to the USVI to heal, most youth in the USVI do not experience healing. Sisterhood Agenda aims to change that through evidence-based program implementation that is:  1) African-centered, 2) trauma-informed, and 3) gender-responsive.

It is the understanding of whole body health (mental, spiritual, and physical) that will transform our mentoring initaitives with our girls. The healing envirionment created by the Sisterhood Empowerment Academy (SEA) will also greatly facilitate empowerment and healing processes.

Sisterhood Agenda is expanding its team to include social workers and clinical psychologists who are committed to helping girls in St. John.  Training is provided by nationally recognized trauma and female empowerment experts.

Thank you again and we look forward to updating you about our new activities and the Sisterhood Empowerment Academy (SEA).  We love having you on our team and hope that you will continue to support this important cause.

Our girls often communicate that they feel invisible, as if their accomplishments, needs, and desires are not heard and don’t matter. Of course, they do! As our girls get older, they need to be prepared for the work force. Sisterhood Agenda encourages them with our unique C-MEE strategy: Citizenship, Mentoring, Education, and Employment.

From July 8-August 1, 2014, Sisterhood Agenda will serve 15 youth in the St. Thomas/St. John school district, the largest district in the U.S. Virgin Islands with Sisterhood Brotherhood Career Development & Life Skills Program.  This program incorporates Sisterhood Agenda's unique C-MEE strategy, a progressive out-of-school approach that includes gender-specific, culturally relevant, multi-media, and hands-on activities that engage young people. We combine both educational and occupational approaches. It is an enrichment strategy that includes: academics, drama, arts, culture, trades, health, life skills, self-esteem, sisterhood/brotherhood, athletics, and computers.

Past summer program sites included Tutu Park Mall and Ivanna Eudora Kean High School. This summer, the program will be held at the Tutu Park Mall.  Once the SEA building is constructed, we will be able to implement this program in our new Sisterhood Empowerment Academy (SEA) building.

The CMEE strategy teaches youth ages 14 and 15 to be responsible citizens and leaders as they prepare to enter the workforce by promoting these four key areas in the curriculum: Education, Employment, Mentoring, and Citizenship. In addition to encouraging entrepreneurship and self-determination, the program will help participants:

  • Explore career and workforce options
  • Promote school attendance and achievement,
  • Prevent gang violence and juvenile delinquency,
  • Prevent drug abuse, teen pregnancy and HIV/AIDS,
  • Promote self-respect and respect for others,
  • Promote cultural awareness and positive behaviors,
  • Stimulate interest in technology and media,
  • Teach life skills, holistic health and fitness,
  • Use research-based approaches that work,
  • Engage youth like never before!

Expenses for this program total $4,500 for the summer and $43,000 for the school year. Expenses include costs for program staff (project director and teacher/mentors), materials and supplies (books and educational supplies), local travel, insurance, communications, and program space.

Sisterhood Agenda founding President Angela D. Coleman initiated the formation of the St. John Youth Coalition and the coalition had their first meeting on January 16, 2014. Angela facilitates coalition efforts by bringing valuable coalition training and skills to the island of St. John. She recently attended the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America leadership institute in Washington, DC and met with Virgin Islands Congresswoman Donna M. Christensen to communicate the importance of Sisterhood Agenda’s work with youth in St. John. Angela brought the training and educational materials back to the sisters in the sisterhood mentoring program and to the youth coalition members to enhance collective efforts.

Sisterhood Agenda is currently conducting an island-wide needs assessment to determine what types of prevention efforts will be most useful and effective for children on the island of St. John, including girls in the sisterhood mentoring program. This assessment includes formation of an assessment committee, analysis of existing data, focus groups, surveys/questionnaires, and development of a strategic plan for Sisterhood Agenda and other St. John Youth Coalition members.

After completing and reviewing many aspects of the assessment process, Sisterhood Agenda will begin its pilot-test implementation of a new evidence-based, culturally relevant and gender-specific sisterhood mentoring program that has a focus on health, including substance abuse prevention, plus career development and workforce skills.   The program will also have a male component for young males under Sisterhood Agenda’s Brotherhood Agenda division. Implementation of the new program will take place at outreach locations in St. John and in St. Thomas beginning in March 2014.

Sisterhood Agenda would like to thank everyone who has supported its efforts including Partnerships for Hope, the Virgin Islands Department of Health, the Virgin Islands Department of Labor, and individuals donors like you. Stay tuned for details!


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Organization Information

Sisterhood Agenda, Inc.

Location: St. John, Virgin Islands - Virgin Islands
Website: http:/​/​
Project Leader:
Angela D. Coleman
St. John, Virgin Islands

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