- Oct. 17, 2018
-- Jovana J. Gilkes , launching mentor program 'Girls Can, Incorporated' for girls ages 11 -17 with 1st Youth Enrichment Summit this December in Brooklyn, NY.
Jovana Gilkes has worked as a publicist since the founding of her company Storm PR Agency in 2011 working on projects for networks like BET (BET Awards, Hip-Hop Awards, Rip the Runway, Viewers Appreciation)
NBC (The Great American Challenge) & VH-1 (Love & Hip-Hop NY, Mob Wives) and having clients in Beauty, Fashion, Film & Television, Music and Sports.
With the success of following her dream of working in the entertainment business as an entrepreneur, Jovana has always been intentional with her community initiatives especially where giving back to at-risk youth was concerned. In 2016 she decided to step away from the world of entertainment to focus on how she could be more impactful in her community by using her own trials and tribulations to inspire this generation, from this the idea of a youth enrichment summit was born. "I came up with the idea to have this summit while sitting in my living room one morning after praying, I just wasn't feeling fulfilled anymore by just being a publicist; it's my passion but not my purpose. I've always been involved in some aspect of community service but I wanted to do more!"
Realizing a need for more positive images to reverse what is believed to be real with the false perception of worth due to the saturation of the media and reality television, she came up with G.I.R.L.S Can and acronym for 'Graceful.Independent.Respectful.Loving.Successful' .'When I was growing up there were more positive images on television, with family shows, socially conscious shows like BET's Teen Summit and even where education is concerned with after-school programs, these things helped me a lot as a young girl whose home life was stressful. Being able to have an outlet and other positive women in my life is something today's generation especially girls don't have that; it really saddens me!".
The goal of Girls Can, Incorporated is to empower, inspire and uplift young ladies, by reminding them of their worth through educational & training services as well as the mentor initiative. Monthly 'A Conversation with My Big Sister' brunch series is held where young ladies are invited to partake in shared conversation on relatable topics with invited host.
The Girls Can Youth Enrichment Summit will be the 1st of what she hopes will be an annual event and eventually a city tour, but to start she's excited for the summit in December which she believes will spark the change that is needed. The G.I.R.L.S Can summit will consist of games, giveaways, panel discussions, vendors market and workshops from 11 am - 5 pm hosted by Radio 103.9 personality Roxie Digital , event proceeds benefit Mount Ararat Baptist Church in Brooklyn 'Yes She CAN' educational scholarship.
When asked how she thinks her life shaped her today and how it will help influence change she says; "I'm thankful to be able to use my life experiences as the fuel to drive this project bringing this vision to life, even if I can impact only one girl then I've done my part." Visit www.girlscaninc.org for more information.