Group to honor young women

Published 12:38 pm Thursday, April 30, 2015

043015_Britney L.ClarkSaturday the Delta G.E.M.s (Growing and Empowering Myself Successfully) will host their annual Rites of Passage program at Denman Junior High School in McComb.

The G.E.M.s program was created by the Pike County Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. in 2004 for African-American women in surrounding counties from the ages of 14 to 18. Marilyn Dow-Harris, G.E.M. chairperson said the program is to enhance the young women’s ability to achieve academic excellence. Dow-Harris has four different focuses; high level academic success, set goals, college and high school planning, and the development of community and compassionate-minded young women.

She described the Rites of Passion program as a sort of yearly awards ceremony where they go through and talk about everything the girls have done over the year. At the ceremony seniors will be highlighted, and information will be shared about the colleges and scholarships the girls may have gotten.

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“It’s the final thing- the last workshop we do with the girls,” Dow-Harris said.

This year, the program will feature 39 girls from the Copiah, Lincoln and Pike County areas.

The event starts at 4 p.m. and is open to the public. It will feature speaker and Wesson native, Britney Clark, and Mississippi School of the Arts singer, Destiny Stone.

Clark is a speaker, community contributor, mentor and finance/accounting analyst from Wesson. With a natural desire to lead, Clark was featured on the cover of the 2008-2009 Edition of “Mississippi NEXT-A Guide to Life After High School Magazine.”

She is one of the 33 women selected to attend the inaugural Mississippi N.E.W. Leadership Program, a five-day residential program created to educate college women about ways they can become more involved in public service and the political process. In December 2013, she founded Girls’ Night, a support group for college women who meet weekly to study biblical principles, share ideas and network. She also joined forces with Miss Mississippi Jasmine Murray to promote her “13 Going on 30” platform as an ambassador.

Clark recently taught Girl Scouts of Greater Mississippi how to up sell and negotiation skills and presented a self-made financial presentation to Jobs for Mississippi Graduates. She is a member of the globally recognized Institute of Internal Auditors. When she isn’t glued to a computer screen, she enjoys exercising, traveling, reading, and blogging. She is currently working on a memoir.

Clark said she does most of what she does because she sees a need.

“My parents always said if you see a need to fill it,” Clark said. “My purpose is to enhance the lives of those around me. Everything I do and everything I say, I always have that in mind.”

Clark said according to the night’s theme of Proverbs 22:6 her speech will be two-fold addressing both parents and children in how to create value systems in children and how to set goals and be responsible.

Dow-Harris said she’d like to recognize the Pike County Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. President, Melanie McEwen and the members of her committee, LaTisha Wilbert, Alisa Welch-Walker, Keia Ashmore and Cynthia Lamkin.

Those interested in their daughters becoming involved with the Delta G.E.M.S. program can email McEwen at