On August 15, the Oak Bluffs Tabernacle will host a program to empower students called the Parent Matterz Empowerment and Opportunity Expo.
Parent Matterz is an organization that works to create opportunities for middle school, high school and college students, particularly those who have been historically marginalized.
The organization offers internships, scholarships, career pipeline programs, and more.
It was founded in 2017 by Rhona Vega, a mother of five.
“Basically, Parent Matterz was created based on lived experience raising five children,” Vega said. “They ultimately are all in a good place, career-wise. And that started off with $750,000 of merit scholarships that they received.”
Vega wanted other kids to have the chance at scholarships and preprofessional programming. The organization had its first opportunity expo in New Jersey in 2020. Vega is looking forward to holding the next one on the Vineyard.
“It’s for the young people who live on the Island as much as it’s for the young people who are visiting,” Vega said.
Attendees will be able to meet with representatives from JPMorgan, New York University, the Council of Urban Professionals, and others.
Vega hopes that Island youth will use the expo as a way to learn about internships and scholarships.
“It’s about finding a way to turn their passions into paychecks,” she said. “Black and brown folks … there’s a mindset sometimes, where they don’t even know where to find these resources and take advantage of them.”
“This is creating a space for folks to give back, and let other young people know you can be whatever you want,” Vega said.