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 Young Women LEAD Live! A Success

 "This YWL event has inspired me to be myself and love myself."
Young Women Lead
“I feel empowered."

This is the sentiment shared by many of the young women who participated in the Young Women LEAD Live! event nearly two weeks ago. Young Women LEAD (YWL) is an organization that helps high school girls “discover their innate qualities and strengths” and challenges them “to reach higher levels of personal growth and development.” Sparked from a 2009 focus group in Louisville, Kentucky, YWL has grown across Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky.

This year, YWL organizers turned the challenge of hosting a conference virtually into an opportunity to reach a wider audience than ever before. More than 2,500 high school girls from 28 states participated in the virtual event over two days.

Notable figures included emcee Paolo Suro, Toyota Sponsor Spotlight Samantha Mardis, Keynote Presenter Julie Carrier, Role Models Maryam and Nivaal Rehman, and Special Celebrity Guest Monique Coleman. YWL Student Advisory Board members also presented to their peers. The NKU College of Education’s own Dr. Kimberly Clayton-Code served as the event director, completing much behind-the-scenes work and organizing prizes for participants. NKU’s College of Education is a proud 10-year sponsor of Young Women LEAD Live!

Feedback from participants through social media challenges and event surveys has been overwhelmingly positive. 

One participant shared: “Throughout this experience I have learned that I cannot be scared to be powerful. I have to use my voice and imagination to achieve my dreams. This YWL event has inspired me to be myself and love myself. You are models in your own lives. I have to believe in myself and work hard no matter the setbacks. This event has taught me that when I face a challenge I am showing the world who and what I am. I’ve learned that failure can challenges are not meant to stop me, they are meant to teach me how to grow. Leaving this Live Event, I feel like a completely different person, I feel empowered.”

To watch inspiring messages from the Young women LEAD Live! speakers and read more about the impact of the conference, visit the event summary website. To find out how you can support YWL or participate in future events, visit

About This Article

Contributor, NKU Magazine
Published October 2020
Photography provided

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