ACTC Announces Keynote Speaker for Young Women Lead Conference

The 2nd annual Young Women Lead conference at Ashland Community and Technical College will feature Julie Marie Carrier, a top national speaker, award-winning author and Emmy nominee.

As seen on MTV, Carrier is a success coach for “MADE” a self-improvement reality television series. Her messages of success have been featured in the New York Times best seller, The Success Principles, Chicken Soup for the Extraordinary Teen Soul and in BeYOUtiful, her book for girls and young women.

A self-proclaimed nerd in high school, she started her own business at age 14 to pay for college. Recognized as one of the Top 50 Student Leaders in the Nation and a Rotary International Ambassadorial Scholar to England, Carrier graduated Summa Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa in Leadership Studies from The Ohio State University.

At age 23, she was hired to serve as a Senior Management Consultant in Leadership Development for the Pentagon. With her increasing successes, Carrier became increasingly frustrated with toxic media messages and negative role models that were leading young women away from achieving their own dreams.

She left her Pentagon career after four years in order to serve as a positive voice for young women on leadership, character and confidence. She competed for, and won, Miss Virginia USA as a way to help further her impact as a national speaker.  She was also a semi-finalist on NBC’s Apprentice TV show.

Carrier will share her story about how to stand up as a leader, develop self-esteem, deal with peer pressure, and achieve success.

Young Women Lead (YWL) is a leadership, education and development opportunity for high-school junior girls in Eastern Kentucky.  The conference is sponsored primarily by Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America, Inc.  in partnership with ACTC, SOAR, a women’s professional development organization, and local organizations.

Typically held in metropolitan areas, YWL came to Ashland for the first time last year. “Response from the students who attended last year was overwhelmingly positive,” said Karen Coburn, ACTC Director of Workforce Solutions and YWL committee chair. “We are pleased to continue the partnership with Toyota and Soar that offers so much to teenage girls.”

In addition to Carrier’s interactive presentation, the conference will include breakout sessions with women from local businesses and organizations who are experts on issues that high school girls currently face. Topics will include leadership, financial literacy, careers, social media, fitness and health issues.

The free conference will be held Oct. 14 and 15 at ACTC’s Technology Drive Campus with 250 students expected to attend each day, one-third more than last year.  Lewis and Rowan Counties have been added to the conference’s service area, which also includes Boyd, Carter, Elliott, Greenup and Lawrence counties in Kentucky.

Interested girls who will be high school juniors in any of those counties may contact their school counselors in September to register.  For more information on the conference or to become a sponsor, email Karen Coburn at: or call 606.326.2129. Additional information is also on the web at