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Empowering Females & Young Entrepreneurship on Staten Island

Oct 23, 2017

Business Advisor Christine Purelis and Office Manager Megan Ernst (Staten Island Advance/Shira Stoll)

On Sunday, October 22nd 2017, St. John’s University hosted Staten Island’s first ever Girls World Expo. Girls World Expo is a national movement of one-day events for teenage girls. Each Expo is diversely designed to connect girls with their community, empowering them to discover their potential, find their best path to personal and professional success, meet new people, try new things and have fun.

The Staten Island SBDC was a proud sponsor of this event, as the SBDC fosters education and young entrepreneurship. Office Manager Megan Ernst and Business Advisor Christine Purelis networked with various attendees and vendors to promote young entrepreneurship and explore career opportunities with the young women and attendees.

This event was truly inspiring for all 600+ attendees. The day’s activities and vendors ranged from body care, beauty and fashion, art and dance, mental health, and self defense. With demonstrations from painting and a fashion show to how to change a flat tire, young women (and adults) who participated had a well-rounded empowering experience.

Linda Baran, Amy Freeze, and Amanda Rae Davis speak during the Fearless Females panel.(Staten Island Advance/Shira Stoll)

Throughout the day’s agenda, Megan and Christine attended the “Fearless Females” panel. This panel discussion featured Staten Island Chamber of Commerce President/CEO Linda Baran, Richmond County Assistant District Attorney Amanda Rae Davis, and NYC Meteorologist Amy Freeze. These local “female visionaries” provided insight and answered questions in regards to their experiences as women in the workforce and provided advice to the young women in the room.

The Stage Manager and Advisory Board Member of this event was none other than Staten Island’s own rising young entrepreneur, Gabrielle Garcia. Gabby recently made headlines through the Staten Island Chamber of Commerce’s Young Entrepreneur Academy (YEA!) Program. She not only won the Staten Island competition, but also swept Nationals earning the title “America’s Next Top Young Entrepreneur.” SBDC Certified Senior Business Advisor George Telmany has been working with Gabby to continue developing her business plan and product line even after the competition has ended.

With programs like the Girl’s World Expo and YEA! Program across Staten Island, there is no doubt that the youth will succeed if they get involved and utilize their local resources. The Staten Island SBDC is actively involved in these programs providing mentorship to students, along with providing free confidential one-on-one counseling. SBDC services are available to anyone looking to start or grow a business. Contact your local SBDC to learn more.

Read more about this event and 10 Inspiring Females that were there from

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