Empowering Garrison Girls functions as thinking small and digging deep organization whose investment in each participant is long term and continuous. EGGs participants are encouraged to practice skills and activities that foster deep-rooted academic goals. The programme provides the information, support, and resources that participants will need to influence the development of a plan for life after high school completion.
The three tenets that will be used throughout the project to influence the goal planning process for participants are –– education, exposure, and encouragement. The tenets focus on enhancing the academic and career readiness prospects for these young girls as follows:
Dr. Dihema R. Longman, mother, college educator, and scholar, is the product of a garrison community in Kingston, Jamaica. Recently completing her doctorate in Teaching and Learning, with a concentration in Mathematics Education, she embodies the vision for EGGs. She is an Empowering Garrison Girl, successfully hatched into the woman she was meant to be.
Since leaving Jamaica, Dr. Longman has resided in the United States for 25 years, where she works as a mathematics educator going on 15 years. While traveling back and forth to Jamaica and staying in her garrison community, she documented the importance and value of reaching her roots and giving back to her culture. Through EGGs, Dr. Longman gives back to her garrison roots and Jamaican culture by empowering 12 participants each year. The mission of EGGs is to help equip young girls living in garrison communities with the life skills and opportunities needed to fulfill their goals.
As part of the Caribbean Diaspora, living in the United States, the EGGs project serves as a strong representation of returning to my roots and strengthening them through young girls in garrison communities. The African principle of "Sankofa" expresses the idea that we must go back to our roots and give back to move forward and help create a better world. The principle is embodied through the symbolism of a bird holding an egg in its mouth and looking backward while its feet are facing forward.
The EGGs program is a unique and necessary initiative to "hatch" future generations of women, like me, who can help fill the gap created by gender and economic inequalities while creating a better community, nation, and world.