On April 8, St. George’s University student group, Women in Medicine (WIM), hosted 20 young mothers from the Program for Adolescent Mothers (PAM) at its bi-annual workshop themed “Mind, Body, and Soul.” PAM students were invited to the True Blue Campus for a fun-filled day of educational activities focused on empowering the young women, who often struggle emotionally and financially to care for themselves and their infants.
“Our longstanding collaboration with WIM continues to be very beneficial to our young ladies. PAM’s main goal is to empower and educate teenage mothers, but our resources are limited and WIM fills in perfectly both as an advocate for women’s health and as a practical learning resource unit,” praised Ms. Vanessa Glasgow, who spent almost a decade teaching at PAM. “These sessions at SGU provide an opportunity for socialization, which the girls enjoy while learning to use different approaches to influence change in their communities – starting with self and home.”
The half-day workshop was held at the Caribbean House, with this term’s focus on ways to deal with stresses that might affect the Mind presented by Dr. Barbara Landon; ways to loosen up the Body by Dr. Carey Williams; and ways to enrich the Soul by Lauren Orlando. PAM students were also treated to a yoga session by Joe Keller and self defense by black belt and Tae-kwon-do expert David Shaw.
“Just having these young moms here at this SGU event shows them that anything is possible and that one day they can even attend SGU. There are no limits for them,” encouraged Anneka Hutton, WIM VP of Volunteer Opportunities and former PAM Coordinator. “By hosting multiple events, it shows them this is not just a one-off but that we care about bringing them back and we care about their kids. I think that’s really important for these young women, to know that there’s someone advocating on their behalf and providing encouragement.”
WIM is a committee that advocates for the interests of women in medicine by promoting women’s health, and emphasizing well-being and autonomy. Every term, WIM joins with PAM to host workshops addressing such topics as nutrition for themselves and their children, mental health, stress management, and sexual and reproductive health. According to PAM representatives, over the years the partnership has resulted in direct change in behavior, conflict resolution, mother-to-child bonding, and assertiveness in relation to self protection for many PAM students. Upcoming events include a film series tackling domestic violence and female empowerment.
By Ray-Donna Peters