By Kylie Kinnett
Do you remember the awkwardness and feelings at age 13 or 14? The confusing times of middle and high school, as well as the uncomfortable growing pains, and stress of career or college planning? The local Young Ladies Success Summit, created by Conference Director Essie Childers, helps to challenge those feelings and instead “expose young ladies in middle school and high school to collegiate and career opportunities, to boost their self-esteem, and empower self-responsibility to create success in school and in life.”
Held on February 6 at Blinn College in Bryan, the Young Ladies Success Summit will provide girls an opportunity to gain information and confidence to pursue goals and create ambitions that they might not be exposed to otherwise. The summit is open to girls in grades six through 12, an age which relays a time of change and new discoveries. It is not only important but also essential that a seed of encouragement and drive is planted in their minds at this age, says Childers. “Realizing your self-worth and loving yourself first are the stepping stones in success,” she says.
Preparing for college should start as early as middle school, says Childers. The Young Ladies Success Summit will consist of sessions discussing a variety of topics including: financial literacy, self-esteem, Facebook etiquette, bullying, and other engaging topics. This year’s keynote speaker will be Donna Spann, CEO of Capstone College Advising from Tyler. Additionally, the summit will feature an essay contest in which monetary awards will be presented. Young ladies will have an opportunity to respond to the question, “How do you use social media to show others how special you really are?” Essay rules and guidelines are available online at yl-success.com. Door prizes and essay winners will be announced at the end of the conference. The conference will also present a session for parents to learn more about networking and preparing their child for college.
Childers recognized the need for the Young Ladies Success Summit and, with the help of family and friends, hosted the inaugural event in February 2011. Childers, knowing that a lot of her success has been thanks to wonderful female mentors in her own life, believed she had a duty to give back to young girls in her community in a similar way.
“Young women are capable of making strong decisions and have the ability to exercise creative and critical thinking,” says Childers. The opportunities presented at Young Ladies Success Summit empower young girls and demonstrates what can be achieved with a mindset that leads to success. “We all have a hidden treasure,” says Childers. The Young Ladies Success Summit is designed to not create that treasure for these girls, but simply help them find it.
February 6 marks the fourth year of the summit that will be held at Blinn College in Bryan, beginning with a continental breakfast at 8:30 a.m. Registration forms for both parents and students can be found at yl-success.com and the registration deadline is February 1.