Professional Development
COVID-19 / Events / Women in tech / Youth

This virtual youth summit reminds us it’s still Women’s History Month

A state lockdown isn't stopping Wilmington's I Am B.E.A.U.T.Y from celebrating young women online — with an extra dose of mental wellness.

Akilah C. Bernard (center) is continuing her programming for women and girls through the pandemic. (Courtesy photo)

Not long ago, Akilah C. Bernard, founder of I Am B.E.A.U.T.Y., an organization focused on providing education and mental health services for women, relocated from New York City to the WIN Factory in Wilmington. Among her services offered are a teen leadership bootcamp and a 90-day coaching program for women.

In an effort to bring programming to girls during Women’s History Month — despite the COVID-19 pandemic — I Am B.E.A.U.T.Y. will be hosting a virtual summit for girls 8 to 18 years old on Saturday, March 28, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Zoom.

“This is another moment in history where women are on the front lines saving the day in local hospitals as healthcare workers, as mayors of major cities and leading the White House Coronavirus Task Force,” Bernard told “We don’t have to wait for years to come to celebrate them, we can do that right now.”

The event, called the #ConfidenceisQueen Virtual Girls Summit, is free and will include several sessions that will:

  • Provide psychoeducation about the coronavirus and trauma
  • Develop self-esteem, self-confidence and self-love to overcome obstacles
  • Work effectively in teams, and as a leader
  • Identify strengths, talents and opportunities for growth
  • Practice mindfulness and relaxation techniques

As a teaser, Bernard shared a few quick tips that will be expanded upon during the summit:

Know how to reward yourself

“Celebrate your success!  Whether you passed an exam with a good grade, received an award or got a role in a school play, take time out to acknowledge your achievement.”

Know what’s in your toolbox

“What are you good at? What inspires you? What are your strengths? You have to know what tools you have to know what problems you have been designed to solve. The more we are connected to our strengths, the more confident we will be to pursue our dreams and passions.”

Know how to affirm yourself

“You have to be able to encourage yourself even when there is no one around to motivate you. Speak positivity when fear and negativity strike. Say: ‘I am powerful, I am beautiful, I am loved, I am courageous, I am abundance’ in the mirror in your superhero pose!”

The summit will be broken into two two-hour sessions, with 8- to 12-year-olds from 10 a.m. to 12 noon and 13- to 18-year-olds from 1 to 3 p.m. Each session can accommodate 100 girls. Participants will need a laptop, tablet or mobile phone with a camera, headphones, three pieces of paper and a pen or pencil.

The summit is intended to fill some of the gap left by school a programming closures.

“During this month, schools and organizations create programming to inspire girls to dream big, set goals and go crush them,” Bernard said. “We didn’t want that opportunity to be missed during this pandemic, especially living in a digital world.”


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