Empowering Garrison Girls functions as thinking small and digging deep organization whose investment in each girl is long term and continuous. In thinking small, EGGs accepts a maximum of 12 girls into the organization. However, with those 12 participants, the organization practices skills and activities that foster deep-rooted academic, career, and well-being goals. The organization provides constant information, support, and resources that develop these deep-rooted goals. Empowering Garrison Girls is successful when each participant in the program graduates from high school, then enters college or starts vocational skills and training with a strong sense of self in their academic and career choices.
The organization's three missions are education, exposure, and encouragement. EGGs' mission is to provide educational aid and mentorship through tuition scholarships and exposure to various career options while encouraging mentorship to elevate love of self, community, knowledge, and purpose in life.
The organization provides high school tuition assistance to high school girls' families in Jamaica as a form of retention to prevent high school dropout. EGGs ensures that all participants in the EGGs organization remain in high school while maintaining academic excellence and community purpose. EGGs' tuition assistance comes in paying the annual high school tuition and fees at the beginning of the school year directly to the high school. The tuition coverage is continuous as long as the participant is enrolled at the institution and in the program. Moreover, EGGs organization requires each girl to maintain vital academic requirements. While in the organization, these requirements are to maintain excellence by attending school, averaging a B or above, and acquiring academic leadership responsibilities. These responsibilities include running for student offices, playing sports, debating, and serving as prefects.
EGGs' second mission is to expose the participants to various positive educational and career options for their future. EGGs helps the girls develop the next steps toward attaining their future goals beyond high school. For the participants, the organization highly prioritize that the next step should be college. However, with a realistic perspective for the cost of college in Jamaica and a scarcity of access to scholarship opportunities, EGGs include in its program not only college preparation but also career options immediately beyond high school. Exposure for the girls in EGGs is to increase an inclusive contribution of women in society, build partnerships across a wide range of community and corporate stakeholders, and improve their life decisions and outcomes. EGGs facilitate excursion visits to colleges, vocational schools, businesses, institutions, and organizations to expand the girls' perspectives of their future opportunities. The organization uses these excursions to help the girls develop an understanding of their personal and professional goals while exposing them to various college and career options beyond high school.
EGGs' third mission of encouragement is by fostering the girl's well-being. EGGs promotes knowledge of positive self-concept, self-control, critical thinking, social, and communication skills. Through the organization, we encourage the participants to build and practice resilience methods, act in brilliance, and recognize self's beauty. The organization also promotes developing self-love knowledge, healthy living, understanding reproductive health, reading, and giving back to their communities. Each participant in EGGs acts as a mentor and a mentee. EGGs encourages and teaches the girls these methods and practices through annual seminars, presentations, and outings, allowing them to see the world outside of their garrison communities while giving back to their communities.
My name is Dihema Longman, Ph.D. I am from the garrisons in Kingston, Jamaica, and I identify as an EGG. I formed EGGs to promote a sustaining opportunity for girls from garrison communities to complete high school through education in tuition assistance, educational and career resources, and mentorship. I am a mother, college educator, researcher, and consultant. Being raised in the garrison community, I recognized the importance and value of reaching our roots and giving back to our culture. I am doing so through these participants from garrison communities. Therefore, I formed this organization, Empowering Garrison Girls (EGGs), to help develop and fulfill young women's life goals.