This month we held the third Annual EPIC, Doretha Edgecomb Female Symposium. Our theme, created by Dr. Sherell Wilson, symbolized and focused our efforts, BeYOUtiful. Our day was full of inspiration, celebration and support for our EPIC, Teen Parent and PACE ladies.
Ms. Tierica Berry, an award-winning author, presenter and entrepreneur, delivered a keynote presentation that rattled the internal dialogue of many of our ladies who I witnessed approach Ms. Berry during the day to talk to her about their lives, challenges and goals. Ms. Berry displayed passion, encouragement and leadership for our ladies that we know will help support our efforts to create empowered students and strong women. She also led a breakout session which helped the girls work in groups, speak through misconceptions and utilize tools to support a more positive internal dialogue.
The atmosphere of positivity, self-esteem and encouragement was present throughout the day. We, of course, thank Mrs. Doretha Edgecomb to whom we have named our symposium after and appreciate her continued service to others. Our sponsors also helped make this event one that I feel set the standard for next year’s event. A special thanks to Shanel with Keiser University for the venue and lunch. Your continued hospitality is second to none and we appreciate you!
Caspers Company provided the ladies with breakfast and we are always thankful for all they do throughout our district. Beef O' Brady's Brandon location donated towards our cost for the event and we applaud their generosity. PACE, as well as, Ms. Berry and Ms. Davis and Mrs. Edgecomb donated gift cards and giveaways. Additionally, our great friend Mitchell from the Seffner Wal-Mart donated 45 gift bags of make-up and supplies for our girls to take home.
Our good friend from Charley's Steak House, John Wilkinson, provided a delicious dinner for our key note speaker Ms. Berry in from Atlanta as well as my friend Christian Salazar with Doubletree on Cypress who provided amazing lodging for Ms. Berry. Our friends with Forest Hills’ Beef O' Brady also helped with an amazing spirit night fundraiser that helped make the event even more special. We had incredible make-up artists, Zumba instruction and committee members with time and energy to create a day full of motivation and help us raise our ladies up and let them know, “We Believe. We Support. We Encourage. We know you are special, amazing people with bright futures!”
We look forward to continuing this successful event, and building relationships to support the success of our kids!
Paul E. Burke
Education, Prevention, and Intervention Centers (EPIC)