9/22/2016 4:36:52 PM
D.I.V.A.S. in Training will host a group of 6th to 12th grade girls for its 2nd Annual DREAM. SPARKLE. SHINE. Conference on Saturday, October 8 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Held at Royal Missionary Baptist Church in the Educational Building (1805 Pearson Avenue, N. Charleston, SC 29405), the day-long conference is designed to help Lowcountry girls to discover their brilliance and accept their uniqueness through activities that incorporate a variety of opportunities to reflect, share and learn from successful women in the community.
The organization’s founder, Shakeima Chatman, is a realtor and former educator who was once a troubled teen and survivor of sexual molestation. “I know what it is like to feel uncomfortable in my own skin,” says Chatman.
“I created this event because it is our responsibility as women to help our girls to understand that their circumstances do not define who they are and what their futures hold. We all have a right to embrace and be our true selves.”
Dream. Sparkle. Shine. Conference 2016 features a phenomenal group of speakers, including Dr. Yvonne Commodore, an author, educator, motivational speaker and co-pastor of People Builders International in Walterboro, SC, who will deliver the keynote address. Others include Charleston Young Professionals Director, Erica Wright, MBA (Dream Big); beauty expert & entrepreneur, Angie Ravenel (Sparkle More); T-Mobile Augusta Senior Manager of Operations Support, Shana Anderson (Shine Bright); and Erica Alcox, a local educator, philanthropist and speaker who will once again lead the girls in the closing ceremony.
“The speakers were selected for their ability to inspire the girls on the basis that they can also relate to them,” says Chatman. Each professional has aspired to and achieved a certain level of greatness, but have overcome tremendous obstacles in the process,” says Chatman.
Like the organization’s symbol – the diamond – even when there is dirt and grime on the exterior, there is something beautiful inside. “Our goal is to refine the girls by helping them to chip away everything that is holding them back from displaying their true brilliance,” says Chatman.
Chatman hopes that each girl walks away from Dream. Sparkle. Shine. 2016 empowered in knowing that it is OK to be different from everyone else, which is the first step in achieving moral excellence on their journeys to aspiring Power, Success and Honor.
Quotes from last year’s participants:
- "I think it was overall put together very well, and I liked how they made you get out your seat and become active."
- I thought I wouldn’t like to share my secrets with strangers, but I felt so comfortable like I was with family.
- “The activities were super cool.”
- I really enjoyed the workout portion and the closing ceremony was amazing.” (from a chaperone)
Divinely Inspired Virtuous Ambitious Sisters in Training Incorporated (D.I.V.A.S. in Training, Inc.) is a character development and mentoring program for girls, ages 13 to 18. With a mission to help to bring out moral excellence in teenage girls as they aspire for success, honor and power, D.I.V.A.S. in Training educates girls on topics, including career development, personal finance, health and fitness, self-defense and personal hygiene. As a participant in the program, each girl is paired with a mentor who guides them through the process, and they are recognized for their accomplishments upon completion. The organization served its first D.I.V.A.S. in 2012 through a partnership with Jenkins Institute for Children in Charleston, SC to provide services to their residents.
Tickets are still available for $15.00 (6th to 12th Grade girls) and $20.00 for adult chaperones. Chaperones are not required as plenty of volunteers will be on hand for the duration of the event. For more information and to register, visit www.dreamsparkleshine.org. The organization can be contacted via email at .