High-school junior girls in eastern Kentucky are invited to participate in the areas first conference for young women focusing on leadership, education and development.
The Young Women Lead conference will bring together students from all the high schools in Boyd, Carter, Elliott, Greenup and Lawrence counties.
The conference will be Oct. 15 and 16 at the Ashland Community and Technical College EastPark campus with about 400 students attending.
Dominique Dawes, the 1996 Olympic gold medalist, will be the keynote speaker. She is the only American gymnast to medal at three different Olympic Games in team competitions and the first African-American gymnast to win Olympic gold. She will speak on themes of success, leadership and self-esteem.
Interactive sessions led by local women business, academic and community leaders will cover topics such as leadership, financial literacy, careers, social media, fitness and health issues.
Sponsored primarily by Toyota, the conference typically is held in cities such as Cincinnati, Louisville and Lexington and usually offered through the women's professional development organization SOAR. Conference officials asked an ad hoc committee of community and academic leaders to organize a conference in the Ashland area.
Committee members include Mutt-i-grees Educational Consultant Norma Meek, Independent Etiquette Consultant Mary Crowley, ACTC Dean of Student Affairs Willie McCullough, Kentucky Farmers Bank President and CEO April Perry, United Way Director Jerri Compton, Safe Harbor Executive Director Ann Perkins, Big Sandy Chief Operating Officer Laura Timberlake and ACTC Coordinator of Community Education Karen Coburn.
Organizers believe students attending the conference will leave with a new sense of confidence. The conference also will connect girls from disparate school districts, who will be able to parlay their conference acquaintanceships into valuable networking opportunities, committee members said.
Online registration will begin when school starts in August. Interested girls who will be juniors at any of the area schools may contact their school counselors for information or email Coburn at: firstname.lastname@example.org.