Mentoring our youth: Jana Outerbridge talks at a 2011 GED graduation ceremony, following her Miss Bermuda win. She has now fulfilled her dream to launch a mentoring programme for the island&rsquo;s young women. <em>*Photo by Kageaki Smith</em>
Mentoring our youth: Jana Outerbridge talks at a 2011 GED graduation ceremony, following her Miss Bermuda win. She has now fulfilled her dream to launch a mentoring programme for the island’s young women. *Photo by Kageaki Smith

WEDNESDAY, APR. 18: When Jana Outerbridge was crowned Miss Bermuda she said she wanted to encourage the island’s young people to achieve their goals and she is staying true to her word.

The Bermudian beauty has set up her own mentoring programme, the Heart Project, helping the island’s young women get the most out of their lives.

Outerbridge, and four of her friends, meet with 20 young students from Clearwater Middle School to discuss different aspects of their lives while enjoying various events and pastimes.

She said the programme encourages the young women to get involved with community service projects, fundraising initiatives as well as learning about etiquette and education planning.

Outerbridge said: “This is something I’ve always wanted to do and I think that winning the title of Miss Bermuda was motivation to fulfil my dream.

“I want the girls to be able to bond and learn how to treat each other as young adults. We have been talking about education – we want to encourage them to start thinking about whether they want to go to university and helping them to line up their lives for our future.

“We had a sleepover weekend experience which they loved. We were able to bond and worked on our community service projects. One of them was to take pride in their school by cleaning up the graffiti and those sorts of thing.

“We also talk about etiquette and table manners — we went to the Wahoo Grill restaurant and they were able to sit at the table nicely and talk together and practice things we had been learning about at the weekend.”

The girls Outerbridge is mentoring are aged between 12 and 13-years-old, and while the Heart Project only accepts Clearwarter students, Outerbridge said she would like to expand the programme into other middle schools.