Annual “My Sister's Keeper” Event Delivers Powerful Messages about Self-Reliance, Empowerment, and Inclusion


The College opened its Women's History Month programming today with “My Sister’s Keeper,” our annual female empowerment event designed to encourage local high school juniors and seniors to dream big dreams for themselves and to find the courage, confidence, and conviction to go after them.

This year's theme was "
Together We’ll Make HERstory." 

More than 240 young women from area high schools packed the Mintz Auditorium on the Bronx campus for the powerful two-hour program that was led by Marc Jerome, president of Monroe, and Joy Tolliver, Vice President for Strategic Initiatives and General Counsel.

The promising juniors and seniors from 12 Bronx, Manhattan, and Brooklyn high schools heard from an array of prominent guest speakers who shared incredible messages of support and motivation, and spoke about the importance of lifting each other up, finding their voices, and making themselves heard.

Vanessa Gibson, Bronx Borough President, opened up the event with rousing words that electrified the room. 

The speaker’s this year also included: Dr. Anael Alston, Assistant Commissioner, New York State Education Department’s Office of Access, Equity, and Community Engagement; Chelsea DeJesus, Women’s Affairs Empire Fellow, Office of Governor Kathy Hochul; Leidaly Garcia, Monroe alumna and now staff member; Yadhira Gonzalez-Taylor, Monroe College Faculty and Bronx Civil Court Judge; George Patterson, Senior Director, New York City Department of Education overseeing the My Brother’s Keeper and My Sister’s Keeper Programs; and Nygera S. Pierson Mutis, a psychotherapist on staff at the College.

Current Monroe students Jaden Williams and Tenisha Sebastian also spoke during the program.

The two graduate students talked openly about the difficult challenges they faced on their journeys and the choices they made to stay on track with their education and overall goals. 

The program concluded with a vision board project. The attendees were provided with an array of printed images and quotes representing various educational, professional, and personal goals that they may have for themselves. They were directed to cut out the ones that were most meaningful to them and attach them to a whiteboard. They were then encouraged to come to the microphone to share their vision board with the room.

President Jerome remarked afterward:  “Today’s program to celebrate these young women and inspire them to believe in themselves and achieve great things for their communities was very close to my heart as the father of three daughters."

It was a terrific event indeed. No doubt all walked away feeling uplifted and motivated.

“I am so grateful to our students and special guest speakers and, of course, to the amazing young women who joined us,” said President Jerome.

The College is planning a similar program for young high school men – “My Brother’s Keeper” – on April 20th.