CAMBRIDGE – Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan and Middlesex Partnerships for Youth, Inc. last week, hosted more than 475 students from 30 middle and high schools across Middlesex County at this year’s “Empowering Girls 2016” conferences held at the Broad Institute in Cambridge.
Students from Walsh Middle School, Keefe Tech, and Framingham High participated, according to the Middlesex District Attorney’s office.
This year’s theme, “Building Resiliency, Breaking the Glass Ceiling and Leading into the Future” encouraged young women in attendance to overcome obstacles, set the highest goals for themselves and build strong leadership skills to help promote themselves and lift up their peers.
“For these young women it is important to remind them that sometimes the hardest glass ceiling they have is the one they set for themselves,” said District Attorney Ryan. “This year we worked very hard to reinforce the message of resiliency. Attendees heard powerful stories from strong and successful women who shared their own personal struggles and failures. The message, we hope, that they take from this experience is that they can bounce back from disappointment and that they will find success through hard work.”
The 5th Annual Empowering Girls conference built upon past conference themes designed to encourage confidence-building, self-assertion and goal-setting through compelling speakers and interactive presentations.
Speakers during both sessions inspired students by encouraging them to share their goals with each other and ask themselves hard questions including “what do you want?”, and “what do you care about?” designed to help participants identify what matters most to them. As part of the program speakers also educated students about important issues including equal pay and encouraged them not to simply wait their turn but to step up and seize opportunity.
Day one speakers were: Megan Costello, Executive Director of the Office of Women’s Advancement at the City of Boston, Kendra Foley, Watertown School Committee Member and Ally Donnelly, Anchor and Reporter at New England Cable News/NBC Boston.
Day two speakers were: Jesse Mermell, Executive Director, Alliance for Business Leadership, Andrea Campbell, Boston City Councilor and Nicole Jacobs, Reporter, WBZ News and former Cambridge Mayor Henrietta Davis.
Students from across Middlesex County attended, including from Ashland Middle School, Ferryway School in Malden, Jackson School in Newton, John Glenn Middle School in Bedford, Everett High School, Parlin School in Everett, Lafayette School in Everett, Whittier School in Everett, Madeline English School in Everett, George Keverian School in Everett, Framingham High School, Greater Lowell Technical High School, Holliston High School, Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School, Marshall Simonds Middle School in Burlington, Medford High School, Melrose Middle School, Mount Alvernia High School in Newton, Northeast Metro Vocational Technical High School, Ottoson Middle School in Arlington, Reading Memorial High School, Saint Clements School in Medford, Saint Raphael’s School in Medford, Somerville High School, South Middlesex Regional Vocation School (Keefe Tech), Walsh Middle School in Framingham, Wakefield High School, Watertown High School, Wayland Middle School, Wayland High School, Westford Academy, Whitcomb Middle School in Marlborough, Winchester High School, and Woburn High School.
Middlesex Partnerships for Youth, Inc., (MPY) is a non-profit organization which provides prevention and intervention resources and training to school districts and communities in collaboration with the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office. District Attorney Ryan chairs the MPY Board of Directors.
Photo courtesy of Middlesex Districy Attorney’s office