Well my lovely computer is in the shop so I currently sit in the public library using theirs. These computers are really quite nice, and I almost prefer using this to my own at home! The only fault is that I ran here. Literally jogged from my house to the library 2 miles down. I admit I COULD have driven, but….since I skipped the gym I figured it would be better off to run its only 4 miles there and back (HA! ONLY my behind)!
Anyhow….BECAUSE there is a time limit on computer usage and I have just about reached that limit, for this week’s blog I will be cheating just a bit. The following is an exact article I submitted to the Purple and White (Millsaps’ school newspaper).
Blah Blah Blah I know it’s not exactly a blog but…I wrote it so it counts right?! Plus, those of you interested in attending Millsaps and participating in the P & W staff can see what it is like. (Don’t model your writing after this one that’s for sure! Merely take it as a “What not to do!”) PLUS I served as the director for the conference that is described in the following article so I don’t think I am violating any plagiarism laws!
So…here is the long-awaited article:
Millsaps Hosts Leadership Conference for Young Mississippi Women
Friday, January 27 marked the second annual Mississippi Young Women’s Leadership Summit. The entirely student led and organized daylong conference strives to empower young women in 9th and 10th grade with the knowledge and tools to seek a career in public service. From political to religious leadership, the participants were exposed to a variety of outlets in which they could serve their school, community, and state. This year’s conference was attended by over 40 young women from the Mississippi Delta, Gulf Coast, North Mississippi, and the Jackson area. The 2nd Annual event was made possible by the generous support of the Admissions Department, SBA Executive Board, the Communications Department, Women and Genders Studies, and College Republicans.
The Mississippi Young Women’s Leadership Summit (MSYWLS) originated last January as the Honors Project of former senior, Victoria Romano. Her vision was to provide the conference at no cost to young women throughout the state and for this conference to become an annual event in the Millsaps community. Romano passed down the organization of the conference to senior, Laura Domingue, junior, Stevie Cantrell, and sophomore, Sara Del Castillo and again, the summit was a fleeting success.
As the founder of the event, Romano returned to the conference this year in a different manner. A teacher at Forest Hill High School, Romano participated in the conference as the chaperone of ten eager 9th and 10th grade students. When asked what it was like to return Romano said, “Its like watching the students you taught graduate from high school and tell you what a difference you made in their lives.” “I couldn’t be more proud of what these young girls are learning and becoming.”
Romano’s students along with the others spent the day learning from their peers as well as from the Millsaps College students who served as mentors for the conference. For junior Hannah Enloe this was her first year to participate as a mentor in the event. Enloe remarks on the quality of the conference; “This is such a great event to be a part of… I wish I had had something like this when I was sixteen.” “It [the conference] is a great resource for young women and it should be continued for years to come” says Enloe. Twenty other Millsaps students ranging from freshman to seniors served as mentors provoking discussions among their groups, chaperoning the service projects, and serving as a friendly face to the participants throughout the day.
Throughout the conference, the participants, as well as the mentors, were addressed by a number of the state’s prominent female leaders. Mayor Mary Hawkins Butler of the City of Madison and State Treasurer Lynn Fitch recounted the struggles of their journey to serve as an elected official. Rabbi Cohen of Temple Israel and The Reverend Rwth Ashton addressed the young women from a unique aspect of leadership, that of religious service. The speakers urged the young women to seek out leadership opportunities in their school, community, church, and beyond. “In your hometown you have a great responsibility…you need to serve in some capacity” said Mayor Hawkins Butler. In one activity the participants were able to do just that. The participants were faced with pressing issues, asked to construct a plan of action, and required to present their work to the entire conference. For some this was their first exposure to public speaking for others it was an opportunity to further develop their problem solving skills.
Whether it was hands on service, exposure to new forms of leadership, or mere camaraderie between young women of different backgrounds, the participants in the MSYWLS received a day filled with meaningful experiences. The conference is sure to be an event looked forward to each year, and would not have been possible without the support of the Millsaps community.