In a day filled with activities as diverse as the girls and their moms, nearly 2,000 people attended the Girls World Expo, a day for empowering teenage girls, where 14 were honored.
The Girls World Expo, held March 16 at Terrace on the Park, is the brainchild of Varinda Misset, who founded the company and brought the event to The Queens Courier.
“It was a new event in Queens that we helped organize,” said Vicki Schneps, the CEO of the The Queens Courier. “We turned into an extravaganza—a great celebration of teenage girls.”
The event began with the Girls of Merit Breakfast and Award Ceremony, which recognized the outstanding contribution of girls from the Queens community:
Brittany Marie Zaita of St. Francis Prep High School, Carly Nieves of Christ the King High School, Katie McQuade of the Professional Performing Arts School, Donna Forgione of I.S. 237, Jamila Michelle Thompson of Lawrence Woodmere Academy. Wei Hsin (Julia) Wood of the Vienna Music School, Elsa Alvarado of Benjamin N. Cardozo High School, Linda Derry who attends the Cambria Center for the Gifted Child, Vicki Maglaras of the Frank Sinatra School of the Arts, Destiny Vergara of P.S./I.S. 128, Kayla Bailey of Scholars’ Academy, Erin Krebs of The Mary Louis Academy, Iyezavel Shimnove of Cardozo High School and Hannah Mittman.
Later, there was a plenty of entertainment, including many dance performances by the Landrum School of Performing Arts and Dance that awed the audience with numerous routines, including one by a belly dancer.
“I’m having so much fun today,” said Katelynn Markes, who attended with a group of her friends and her mother. “I’m so excited that Talina is here!”
Talina is a rising pop star, who began singing when she was 5. At the Girls World Expo, she performed several of her songs, including spectacular covers of “It’s Not Right, But It’s OK,” by Whitney Houston and “Be Without You,” by Mary J. Blige.
But what separated the Girls World Expo from other events aimed at teenage girls were the educational seminars that included “Healthy Eating,” sponsored by WellCare, “Smart Ways To Save For College,” sponsored by Morgan Stanley and “Money Matters,” sponsored by the Queens County Savings Bank, and many others concerning social issues that girls this age face.
One of the goals of the event was to combine a fun, recreational atmosphere with the seminars so that teenagers could learn important lessons about aspects of their life without having it seem dull or preachy.
“I think it’s great that they have seminars about things like body image and building self-esteem,” said Marianne Gross, who brought her younger sister. “It’s important for girls to hear this stuff.”
Sponsors included The Queens Courier, Morgan Stanley, The Mattone Group, HealthPlus, Amerigroup, the City University of New York, the Landrum School of Performing Arts and Dance, Christie & Co. Salon & Spa, Astoria Dental Group, WellCare, Queens County Savings Bank, Terace on the Park,The Bay Terrace Shopping Center, Frankie’s Carnival Time, Penny Lane Pictures, Leslia NYC and Key Food Marketplace.
More photos and information can be found by looking at the event’s website, www.girlsworldexpo.com, or calling 718-224-5863 X201 about future events.