On 11 February 2014, students were treated to a presentation by volunteers of the Black Pearls Community Services, Inc. The non-profit organization is working towards the development of the Black, West Indian, and African communities in the Greater Toronto Area, with a focus on socio-economic and educational concerns for black girls and women.
The women on spotlight today, greeted by a pleasant turnout of approximately two dozen students, were extremely varied in their vocations, from a practicing lawyer to a doctor in counselling psychology. All of the volunteers, however, shared the achievement of a high degree of success in their lives. They informed the audience that they had joined Black Pearls because of the lack of support they observed for black female students, and wished that the success that they had attained could be experienced by other students as well.
They also had some insightful advice for the students present. They said they believe that, although work experience is important, students should always put education first. However, they believe in positions such as internships, co-op placements, and summer jobs, so long as they do not interfere with academics. “It’s important to ask lots of questions, as well,” said Qadira Jackson, one of the volunteers. She went on to say that applications for universities and scholarships can be confusing, so students shouldn’t be afraid to ask for help.
Students can find more information and contact the Black Pearls at black-pearls.org.