Young Women From Around the Globe Get Leadership Training
June 24, 2013 – A total of 26 girls and women age 15 to 23 from around the world were hosted last week by Georgetown’s McDonough School of Business for a leadership summit.
McDonough’s Office of Executive Education partnered with iLive2Lead, a Washington, D.C., non-profit, for the June 17-21 program.
The included inspirational talks by professional women engaged in diplomacy, government, business and non-governmental sectors, including Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) and Ann Sarnoff, COO of BBC America.
“We decided to partner with iLive2Lead because there is an alignment between the organization’s mission of building strong women leaders around the world and how we approach our executive education programs,” said Nancy Beer Tobin, an assistant dean at McDonough. “We believe in Georgetown’s underlying value of being in service to others and to the community."
Participants in the summit were asked to develop “i Commit 2 Act Now” projects that demonstrate leadership and help their communities.
Angelica Le Roux, 17, committed to working with two community centers in Orange Farm, South Africa, to improve the educational facilities of a child care center and provide better sanitary conditions at an institution for teenagers with HIV/AIDS.
“The child care center supports 150 children from low-income families,” explained Le Roux, a junior at the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls in South Africa. “When I visited the area, I discovered that there are no tables, chairs – no textbooks. There is only one woman managing the center and because no resources are available, she has to resort to telling stories to educate the children.”
She said the sanitary conditions at the HIV/AIDS center “are so bad that going to the center itself can be dangerous for them. There’s simply not enough food and resources available.”
Le Roux plans to improve the overall conditions of these community centers by promoting awareness through fundraising and volunteering opportunities.
Since its founding three years ago, iLive2Lead has built a leadership curriculum developed especially for adolescent females with graduates from more than 60 countries and a diverse mix of socioeconomic groups.
Changing the World
Participants say the experience was rewarding.
“I had the opportunity to meet fellow young women leaders from around the world,” said Thrmiga Sathiyamoorthy, 19, a Canadian with Sri Lankan roots. “Meeting these women allowed me to realize that leadership qualities can take on different forms. Some of the strongest leaders I met are timid. I discovered that to be a leader you also have to be humble and caring.”
Rebecca Marchant, 17, of Washington, D.C., advises other young women to have the confidence to make a difference.
“We have a tendency to underestimate ourselves,” she said. “You must find what makes you strong and what makes you beautiful. We need more of us to speak out and change the world.”