Monday, July 7, 2014

Sandals Resorts Partners with Delta Sigma Theta to Educate Teen Moms

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Patrick Drake, General Manager, Sandals Royal Bahamian Spa Resort & Offshore Island and
Jeunesse Osadebay-Bullard, President, The Nassau Bahamas Alumnae Chapter, Delta Sigma Theta, Inc.

The Sandals Foundation Partners with The Nassau Bahamas Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Incorporated

The Sandals Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Sandals Resorts International, and The Nassau Bahamas Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., the local chapter of an organization that is 350,000 women strong worldwide, announced their partnership in support of the P.A.C.E. Program (Providing Access to Continued Education), a community-based outreach initiative designed to provide education and support to teenage mothers and promote awareness to help reduce teen pregnancy among young adults.

The initiative was originally announced in early June at Delta Sigma Theta’s Southern Regional Conference in Tampa, FL.  A subsequent launch event on June 30th afforded potential Bahamian partners the opportunity to understand the work that the women of Delta Sigma Theta, mainly The Nassau, Bahamas Alumnae chapter and the Sandals Foundation will being undertaking. Together, both organizations hope to continue to raise needed funds for P.A.C.E. and for the refurbishment of a first-of-its-kind support center that will ensure young mothers are provided with health care, nursery and academic services.

Approximately 700 teenage girls are impregnated each year in the Bahamas, with about 20% of them eventually becoming pregnant again while still in their teen years. Designed specifically as a Bahamian program but with reach in other Caribbean Islands, P.A.C.E. provides education and support to teenage mothers, promoting awareness of policies to help reduce teen pregnancy among young adults. Through the program, young women in need receive: personal care items, clothing and food for their children, themselves, and sometimes their family; weekly mentorship on a broad range of topics including pregnancy prevention, legal rights, budgeting, and motivational techniques; weekly spiritual enrichment sessions; access to information technology and skills training to assist mothers with the tools needed to rejoin the workforce; and ongoing support once they’ve left the program.

Jeunesse Osadebay-Bullard, president of The Nassau Bahamas Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta, Inc. shared, “The opportunity afforded to us to partner with the Sandals Foundation is one that allows us to continue our efforts as an organization to promote our Sorority’s ‘5 point programmatic thrust’ of educational development, economic development, political awareness and involvement, physical and mental health, and international awareness and involvement.”

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Members of the Nassau Bahamas Alumnae Chapter

Successful completion of the P.A.C.E. Program is the only means by which teenage mothers are allowed re-entry into public schools, thus giving them an opportunity to complete their education.  In turn, these teenage mothers are better prepared and equipped for gainful employment, which reduces the chances that they will live a life of poverty and social dependence.

“We are thrilled to be working alongside the Bahamian Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta to join in our efforts to support P.A.C.E. and raise needed funds for their programs.  With their wide network of alumni and supporters across not only the Caribbean but also the world, we are very hopeful that we can continue to ‘set the pace’ for young women providing needed education, mentoring and support,” said Adam Stewart, president of Sandals Foundation and CEO of Sandals Resorts International. “Together, we can make a remarkable impact on the lives of many young girls and change the outcome for generations to follow.”

For more information on this partnership or to donate, please visit sandalsfoundation.org. To learn more about Delta Sigma Theta, Incorporated, please visit deltasigmatheta.org.

Source:  Press release

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