By Noriko Kudo, U.S. Army Garrison Japan Public AffairsFebruary 7, 2017
CAMP ZAMA, Japan (Feb. 7, 2017)-- Nearly 70 attendees, including Soldiers, Civilians and Family Members, participated in a meet-and-greet Feb. 3 hosted by U.S. Army Garrison Japan and 441st Military Intelligence Battalion at Camp Zama Community Club for the Female Enrichment Mentorship Program.
Sgt. 1st Class Sherri Queen, assigned to USAG Japan, program coordinator of FEMP, said the purpose of the FEMP is to help female Soldiers and Civilian employees establish their goals and to provide tools to help them build strength, skills and resiliency to attain those goals.
Queen said she took a time to come up with a motto for FEMP: "New H.E.I.G.H.T.S." - which means "Here to Empower, Inspire, Grow and Help Today's female Soldier reach her full potential."
Queen said her intention behind the motto is to take FEMP to a new level and direction, expanding to not only Soldiers but also to Civilians, Local Nationals, and Family Members.
The meet-and-greet provided an opportunity for women in the Camp Zama community to come together outside the workplace and connect, which was a new beginning for FEMP, Queen added.
Queen said female mentorship is very near and dear to her heart.
"It is one of the things in the Army that keeps me going," said Queen.
Queen said she remembers there were times she felt alone, especially at her very first duty station because she didn't feel she had a mentor available to guide and help her along the way.
"Female mentorship to me is me filling in the gap," said Queen.
Queen said she wants to be that person who provides leadership, guidance and advice when junior Soldiers need a helping hand.
Queen said, as soon as she started planning the event with the newly established motto, she realized the ladies' dedication to FEMP.
"It really truly exceeded my expectations," said Queen, referring to the event.
Yolanda Hingel, community life officer for Army Community Service, who was mistress of ceremonies, said all women were together supporting, uplifting, and encouraging one another.
"The attendance was amazing," said Hingel.
Hingel said it takes not only commitment, strength and resiliency but also other females, families, and friends' support for a female to be successful in career and life.
"That is why tonight was so important," said Hingel.
Spc. Vianca Barkley, assigned to 441st Military Intelligence Battalion, who attended the event, said, "I definitely networked a lot and got to know people that I didn't know before."
Barkley said she hopes to attend the event again because "it was awesome."