Caitlyn Joines, Robin Sorrell, and Tijuania Lambert
Brave Hearts girls and sponsor from Jones Magnet Middle School speak to Alpha Delta Kappa Sorority
Student members of the Jones Magnet Middle School Brave Hearts Club, Caitlyn Joines and Robin Sorrell, and lead mentor Tijuania Lambert, were invited speakers for the April 13 meeting of the local Alpha Delta Kappa educational excellence and leadership sorority. Many current and former Hampton City Schools teachers and administrators are members of the sorority.
Lambert opened the presentation with a short introduction to the Brave Hearts national organization and the Jones Magnet Middle School chapter. Brave Hearts is a national organization that was founded on Long Island in 2015 by Jennifer Taylor Boykins. Brave Hearts strives to build leadership, self-esteem, and confidence in middle school girls through weekly meetings, regular mentoring and experiential learning. Brave Hearts empowers young girls to “stand tall and take their place in the world accepting responsibility for self and others and recognizing opportunities for growth and self-improvement toward becoming strong students, powerful community advocates and dynamic leaders.” (Brave Hearts website)
Caitlyn and Robin, both seventh grade students and second-year members of the club, shared some of their experiences as members of the Pretty Little Jaguars chapter. They detailed how a regular activity called “Small Talk” helps them practice verbal communication and develop confidence in their ability to engage in conversations. They recounted their 2020 aeronautics expedition and led group members in designing a frisbee that would fly the greatest distance.
The girls shared how they were able to explore magnetic fields and learn how Earth’s magnetic field impacts flight navigation with National Institute of Aerospace engineer and pilot Dr. Heather Kline.
The girls also described what they have been learning through their 2021 expedition that has involved learning about aquaponics.
Caitlyn Joines and Robin Sorrell are honor students at Jones. Caitlyn transferred to Hampton City Schools in sixth grade and Brave Hearts enabled her to connect with others. The most important lesson Caitlyn has learned through Brave Hearts is “don't be afraid to speak up.” In addition to Brave Hearts, Caitlyn has been a member of the JMMS girls basketball team and digital storytelling club. Outside of school, she is a member of the Girl Scouts, Hurricanes AAU track team, and assists with the children's ministry at her church. Caitlyn has many goals for what she wants to do in the future. She feels she can best achieve these through becoming an entrepreneur.
In addition to Brave Hearts, Robin has been a member of the robotics, board games, and soccer clubs. Outside of school, she is a member of the AIM competition cheer team. She aspires to work for NASA or be an interior designer. Robin says that she likes Brave Hearts “because it is not only a great way to make new friends, but you also learn so much while having fun. The experience of speaking to former teachers about my work was exciting, yet very scary. Nonetheless, it was still a great opportunity for my future self.”
Lambert has served as the lead mentor for the Jones MMS Brave Hearts group since its inception in 2020. She has taught business and information technology courses for 16 years to all age groups of students. She also serves as the Jones FBLA and digital design club sponsor and climate and culture coach. According to Lambert, “It is a pleasure to serve as a Brave Hearts mentor. Providing a program like this is especially important for middle school girls because they are faced with so many changes during this time. Each year the program presents them with a variety of activities that relate to real-world issues. In the meetings, they are challenged to be problem-solvers, public speakers, and leaders. It is rewarding to see the girls in action as they gain confidence and develop leadership skills.”
Also in attendance at the meeting to support Caitlyn, Robin, and Lambert were HCS Brave Heart sponsor, Dr. Kelli Cedo, and partners Tonia Lancaster, Latosha Brown-Davis, and Betsy McAllister.
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