- May 1, 2014
Students from Sarasota and Manatee counties are spending their Saturday morning learning lessons not typically taught in the classroom. On Sept. 8, teens ages 13 to 19 gathered at the CinéBistro at Westfield Siesta Key mall to start an eight-week life skills program presented by Blooming Impressions, an organization offering personal development courses. The first lesson was focused on self-esteem and empowerment. In the coming weeks, the teens will learn about etiquette, personal care, public speaking and financial literacy.
“These students start off with a desire and eagerness to understand things they can’t learn at school,” said Olympia Baylou, founder of Blooming Impressions. “By the end of the program, we see them gain an immense amount of confidence.”
The Sarasota Alumni Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity, a group of minority men committed to youth development, sponsored 10 African-American students participating in the Blooming Impressions program.
“There’s a need for African-American students and also low socioeconomic kids for a program like this,” said Keenan Wooten, board chair of the fraternity’s Project Guide Right Foundation.“We had to act on that. This is where it starts with grassroots organizations and taking it to another level.”
Keiandra and Ku’tur Williams are brother and sister who are two of the students sponsored by Kappa Alpha Psi. They both said they are looking forward to improving their communication skills.
“Self-empowerment is important to me because I want to be the best for my future,” said Keiandra Williams.