BOSS Mentors Give Local Young Women Entrepreneurial, Etiquette and Lifestyle Skills

 Best Opportunity to Support Self

 – Manners and money matter for young women determined to thrive socially and professionally.

According to studies at Harvard University, Stanford Research Institute and the Carnegie Mellon Foundation, 85% of a young person’s future success depends on social skills. “When you add that impact to statistics indicating women live longer than men, work for less money than men and are more likely to end up sick, it is critical women gain every advantage as early as possible,” says Joanna Parris.


Parris is the Etiquette Nanny and founder of the BOSS (Best Opportunity to Support Self) organization. “Canada considers manners of such importance that it is observing National Etiquette Week from May 9 to 13 and National Manners Month in October,” she says.


The former teacher and model is imparting life skills to Windsor/Essex-area women age 17 to 34 years. She created an empowering one-day workshop, Economic Empowerment for Young Women, which teaches participants the benefits of acquiring and practicing good money habits that can lead to greater financial independence. Young women are also coached in professional development, business etiquette, communication and social skills.


“It’s not fair to assume our young people will intuitively understand how to read credit card statements and balance their budgets,” Parris notes. “The fact that so many Canadians – women and men, young and older – are struggling with debt shows that practical conversations are needed. We have that discussion during our workshop.”


Guest speakers share their wisdom. Tamara Stomp, a courtroom lawyer, and former municipal politician, talks about protecting personal investments through unexpected events.


Danielle Gadoury, a bookkeeper, real estate agent and former business owner, discusses financial fitness and accountability – from preparing a business plan to understanding the pitfalls of unwanted debt and how to repair credit.


Kim Gazo is a Realtor ® and a director of the Women’s Economic Forum and the Windsor-Essex Active Retirement Community Initiative. Her workshop topic is recognizing personal/material spending attitudes and patterns, and adopting new solutions for managing money and lifestyle.


Always making the most of the opportunities to teach the rules of etiquette, Parris hosts the workshop at Spago Trattoria in Windsor. While participants eat dinner, the image and etiquette strategist instructs them on table manners. “Knowing how to conduct yourself at a business meal is one of many subtle skills that can propel you forward,” she says.


To encourage participants to continue progressing after the workshop, Parris asks them to develop and submit business plans, eligible for prizes and recognition. The plans are presented at an annual economic empowerment showcase.


Young women eager to learn attended two recent Economic Empowerment Workshop. Upcoming events are on May 19 and June 22.


“Money and economic power equal independence. Good social skills are the great equalizer, transcending social class, economic status, achievement, and race,” Parris says. “By empowering our young women today with practical knowledge, we are helping them become successful community members, businesswomen, and mentors for the generation following them.”






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