On March 30, 2019, over 100 young girls across Massachusetts will be taking part in the 4th Annual Youth Leadership Symposium “I AM WORTH IT” at the Lesley University,  Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02138.

The 4th Annual Youth Leadership Symposium is a full-day event full of personal and professional development workshops that encourages conversation, networking, and team building activities for Middle and High School students.

Our speakers are career driven professionals or successful entrepreneurs who will share stories, teach skills, and help students find the inner confidence to succeed.

All participants will leave the symposium feeling inspired and motivated with a great sense of how they want to MOVE forward in life.


Featuring Opening Speaker

Bernadine Desanges is a Haitian-American, first-generation, Boston native committed to providing opportunities for all students to achieve their highest level of excellence; with a special focus on the underrepresented student population. Having served as a panelist at Black Girls Lead: a girl’s leadership program hosted by Black Girls Rock showcased on BET Network; a panelist at the National Partnership for Educational Access, a mentor within Boston’s Mass Mentoring Initiative, and as a keynote speaker and workshop facilitator at a number of colleges and college readiness sessions. Bernadine stands by her commitment to decreasing the educational gap that is too well known to historically marginalized members of her community.

Understanding the challenges, one faces in all stages of life by living in silence; Bernadine recently launched her brand: BernadineTruth; where she inspires all to unapologetically “Know Your Truths” and “Speak Your Truths” Additionally, Bernadine is the first lady of The Urban Collective Show; a podcast and radio show committed to uplifting and empowering the greater Boston urban community as the host’s mission is to “Do It For The City & The Culture.” Also employed as a Program Manager for Student Development & Leadership Programming at Northeastern University’s John D. O’Bryant African American Institute, Bernadine wears many hats as an advisor, mentor, counselor, and workshop facilitator.

Earning her Masters of Science degree in College Student Development and Counseling from Northeastern University and her Bachelors of Arts in Sociology from Emmanuel College, Bernadine is committed to supporting initiatives fostering student identity development, cultural competency, student leadership, and local and global citizenship; all while ensuring students excel academically and professionally.

For pleasure, Bernadine enjoys writing and performing spoken word poetry, embarking on new adventures, hiking the Blue Hills in Boston, MA., and spending time with family and friends exploring her hometown and learning about cultures abroad.


and Including

Pamela Bardhi

Workshop: Time to Rise

Lindsay Joseph

Workshop: Strengthen Your Talent for Success

Danielle Paez

Workshop: Breathe is your SUPERPOWER

Shatara Grimsley

Workshop: Be Ready…Beautiful & Empower

Ayanna Crawford

Workshop: It’s Your Turn to Take the Mic

Brittany Davis-Morris

Workshop: YOUR WORDS ARE WORTH IT: How Blogging Can Develop Your Confidence and your Future Career

Rosa Beriguete

Workshop: Dream It. Believe It. Claim It. (For Adults Only)