These Free, Daylong Conferences Empower Young Women to Succeed

On Saturday, July 15, Soledad O’Brien and her husband, Brad Raymond, held their seventh annual PowHERful Enrichment Conference in New York City. PowHerful Enrichment Conferences celebrate and extend the reach of the work of their PowHERful Foundation, which equips young women to succeed.


The PowHERful Foundation offers young women in underserved communities the resources they need to succeed. Going beyond just providing financial assistance to its scholarship honorees, the PowHERful Foundation customizes a program of support to each participant, including mentorship and wraparound support, to ensure that each one reaches her full potential.

Reaching Thousands of Young Women


Through the free, daylong conferences, the PowHERful Foundation has reached thousands of young women age 14 to 23 across the country.

In partnership with Google, Macy’s, and Pfizer to hold the conference in New York for six years in a row, the popular conferences—Saturday’s was sold out—expose young women to the fundamentals of success, equipping them to aim at it themselves.

The conference on Saturday featured such notables as American Idol alum Kimberley Locke; SiriusXM Host of “BEVELATIONS” and Page Six TV Host Bevy Smith; WWL-TV Anchor and PowHERful Alumni Sheba Turk; as well as, of course, Emmy Award-winning journalist Soledad O’Brien.


“Saturday’s event was amazing,” O’Brien told me in an e-mail. “We’ve done dozens of these now in cities around the U.S. We have been thrilled to serve nearly 4,000 girls, all in underserved communities. Each event is a full day—with sessions on financial aid, how to be successful in college, career opportunities in STEM, and deconstructing what makes women successful.

“We start at 8 a.m. and by 4 p.m. everyone is exhausted yet exhilarated! It’s a great way to tangibly connect with girls who want advice on how to best self-advocate. And the girls love hearing from executive women, and just rock stars like ballerina Misty Copeland—whose story of overcoming obstacles is an amazing inspiration for everyone.”

Google’s Business Inclusion Manager Lucy Pinto, a PowHERful Foundation board member, said in a statement released prior to the event, “Google is excited to host PowHERful in New York City and help empower young women to reach their full potential. Part of Google’s mission includes making the world’s information universally accessible, and this conference moves the needle forward in this space. We’re very much looking forward to providing the girls with meaningful content to fulfill their aspirations and gain greater exposure to opportunities in STEM.”

Have a young woman in your life whom you’d like to see aiming high? Learn more about the PowHERful Foundation at its website.