You are currently viewing Career Mentorship Event Connects Students with Over 90 Prominent Female Leaders

Career Mentorship Event Connects Students with Over 90 Prominent Female Leaders

All-Girls Charter High School Caps Off Women’s History Month with Mentoring Event Honoring The Role Of Resilience In The Professional Lives of Women

Brooklyn, New York, March 18, 2022On Friday, March 25, students at Brooklyn Emerging Leaders Academy (BELA), an all-girls charter high school located in the heart of Brooklyn’s dynamic Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood, will receive invaluable career mentorship from more than 90 women of distinction representing a vast array of industries, as part of the school’s 4thAnnual Women’s Symposium. The Symposium will run from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Monique Greenwood, former editor-in-chief of Essence and the proprietor of an impressive collection of historic B&Bs (and the subject of the Checked In reality show on Oprah’s OWN network), headlines the event as keynote speaker, starting at 10 a.m. In intimate conversations with BELA students, symposium participants will share their career journeys and the triumphs and challenges that contributed to their professional and personal development. Martha Banks Hall, creator of Vision Words, will lead BELA’s Sisterhood Circle to close the event.

The Women’s Symposium is BELA’s signature event honoring Women’s History Month and it caps off a full month of activities for BELA students recognizing the achievements of notable women throughout history. The theme of this year’s virtual event is “And Still We Rise,” celebrating the role of resilience in the professional lives of women. The event features curated panel discussions and career workshops that enables students to engage in insightful, one-on-one conversations and explore the vast array of professional opportunities open to them.

Participants include: 

  •  Iro Omere: U.S. Congressional Candidate – Texas District 4
  •  D. Woods: Multi-hyphenate Artist & Founder and CEO of WoodGrane Entertainment
  • Dr. Sandra J. Dupree: Executive Director Hyde Leadership Charter School – Brooklyn
  • Gwendolyn Lewis: Community Coordinator FDNY Office of Recruitment and Retention
  • Alfia Ilicheva Co-Founder: WIN: Women in Innovation     
  •  Dr. Mavel Velasco: Professor Emeritus of Hispanic Studies, Virginia Wesleyan University

The Symposium has an impressive history of welcoming a wonderfully diverse panel of professionals and sponsors from industries as wide-ranging as arts and entertainment, business and entrepreneurship, education and nonprofit, health and wellness, law and government, and science and technology. Participants have included CBS, Teen Vogue, Google, IBM, Gap Inc, Buzzfeed, Goldman Sachs, NYPD, Vimeo and Turner Construction.

View the event directory >

Those interested in experiencing the virtual symposium can view the livestream here: livestream viewing

Brooklyn Emerging Leaders Academy 

Brooklyn Emerging Leaders Academy (BELA) Charter School is an all-girls high school located in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York with a mission to empower each young woman to be the best version of herself. Through a rigorous college preparatory curriculum, service learning initiatives and a commitment to cultivating a spirit of ownership within each young woman, BELA students will attend and graduate from college. BELA’s mission, college preparatory curriculum, student leadership opportunities, access to mental health services and approach to building community is fostering the new generation of leaders that our communities need.


Monique Greenwood is the former magazine editor-in-chief of Essencewho traded her writing pen in  for a spatula and opened Akwaaba Bed & Breakfast Inns in 1995. Her impressive collection of historic  B&Bs have included locations in Brooklyn, NY; Cape May, NJ; New Orleans, LA (sold after Hurricane  Katrina); Washington, DC; Philadelphia, PA; and The Mansion at Noble Lane, a boutique resort on a 22- acre former Woolworth estate in Pennsylvania’s Poconos Mountains. Monique recently sold her Cape  May and Washington, DC, locations and will double-down in Philadelphia, where she’s renovating a  historic building to open a tea room and event space, and in the Poconos, where she’s adding four new cabins. All ranked “5 stars”on TripAdvisor, the Brooklyn inn was selected the winner of The Travel Channel’s Hotel Showdown

Akwaaba has been featured in countless magazines and newspapers, including Country Living, Travel &  Leisure, National Geographic Traveler and Brides magazines, as well as on every major network. In fact,  the company and Monique were the subjects of their own reality show, called Checked Inn, on Oprah’s  network OWN. The motivational speaker, author of two books and inaugural Endowed Chair of Entrepreneurship at Howard University – her alma mater – Monique continues to blaze new trails. Up next: a home collection for a major, national department store chain featuring the Akwaaba Inns brand.

Martha Banks Hall is the Creator of Vision Words; a company that creates products that inspire and empower people to achieve their goals and dreams in life. Martha attributes her successes to having incorporated a daily regimen focused on mindfulness and living with intention, this includes the use of affirmations, meditation and journaling. Maintaining this practice has become life changing.

As a speaker, coach and workshop facilitator, Martha works with women who want to learn how to harness the Law of Attraction in their lives. By creating products based on the power of positive words, Martha has helped thousands to use affirmations to create the life they desire. Her speaking experience spans from one on one coaching, to 50 person webinars and workshops, to thousands of conference attendees. 

A Master Manifestor, Martha moved from San Francisco, where she was born and raised, to New York City to follow her lifelong dream of living in the Big Apple. She currently resides in Harlem with her two daughters. Her book It Didn’t Run Me Overwill be released in the Fall 2022.