On December 1st, 2020, an induction ceremony was held by MSK, introducing the goals and expectations held by the program. There was an approximate attendance number of 250, participants varying between students and educators from several schools. Each school captain spoke on their perspectives on MSK along with what they expect to achieve in the future while attending the program.
The My Sister’s Keeper Program (MSK) focuses on providing opportunities for young women of color along with building an encouraging community. The MSK community supports young women in their ventures to become the leaders of tomorrow.
“My goal is to ensure that we put women in front of you, that look like you, that have come from neighborhoods like you or, have experienced things like you, that have been successful because they never gave up and because there was always someone in their corner. So we want to be that group of ladies, group of individuals, group of men, group of folks, that will be in your corner.” –Superintendent Ross
WHSAD’s Captain, Hailey Brizuela shares her expectations and goals for the MSK Program:
Along with Hailey’s commentary, WHSAD Junior, Megan Golding was willing to provide her perspective as a student.
The My Sister’s Keeper induction ceremony was very interesting. It is very good to embody sisterhood which I feel has been missing in the POC communities. In our meeting this Tuesday, we got a special surprise from attorney general Letita James. Ms. James is the current Attorney General of New York and is the first attorney general in New York State history to be black and female. Miss James went to Fort Hamilton High School in Brooklyn. She went to Lehman College in the Bronx and got her J.D (juris doctorate) from Howard University. She worked as a public defender, then on staff in the New York State Assembly, and later as an Assistant Attorney General. She first ran for city council and won on the Working Families Party ballot line.
In the meeting Ms James focused on sisterhood in male dominated industries and in whole communities. Ms James encouraged us to be more unified and not be separate. She gave us a story about how she faced sexism from her early days in high school and to this day, even though she is a high ranking person in New York State. She made sure that we had all the questions to give her. Personally, it was an eye opening experience because I’ve never met someone with so much power in a state/city and even better was that she looked like me.
In order to further view the benefits of MSK, a male perspective of the program was provided by WHSAD Senior Architecture Teacher, Mr. Codio
MSK empowers black and brown women so they can rise to become leaders and take on jobs in male-dominated fields. The program teaches females that they don’t have to ‘fall back’ in the workforce simply because of the idea of ‘male dominance’. Whilst educating, it also addresses multiple issues in the workforce such as the differing pay between genders. As well as adressing issues, the MSK community motivates young women to overcome obstacles, prohibiting it from hindering their ambitions. MSK incorporates mentorship programs that help guide young women in taking authority over their future and exposing their true potential.
“To guide the young females on how to become leaders of tomorrow. Not only to empower but, to actually help them and place them in positions of power. So that they know they’re worth something, they can have the same amount of pay, potential, and ideas being expressed. As opposed to being the individual in the background….” –Alain Codio