Camp exposes teen girls to career choices
The University of Missouri–St. Louis continued its outreach efforts to pre-collegiate students with the second annual UMSL Girls’ Leadership Camp.
Established in 2010 by Malaika Horne, director of the Executive Leadership Consortium at UMSL, this year’s GLC was held June 26-29 at the J.C. Penney Building/Conference Center. Seventy-seven girls from public and private high schools from all over the St. Louis region — and the United States — attended the camp.
Campers came from Mary Institute Country Day School, Horton Watkins High School in Ladue, Sumner High School in St. Louis, Normandy Senior High School and St. Elizabeth Academy. Some campers came from as far away as St. Genevieve, Mo., Colorado and California. A growing number of campers are recent immigrants to the U.S.
The GLC is a day camp during which high school-age young women explore educational and leadership opportunities to help fulfill their career goals. The camp’s agenda changes each year, and includes energetic hands-on activities and multimedia presentations.
“Learning is fun, so we want to expose campers to professional women who have worked hard but also enjoy life,” Horne said. “Leadership for these high school young women is when they take charge of their ongoing success and make healthy choices.”
The camp emphasizes real-world, practical learning experiences, including meeting with college students, faculty and staff, and professional women across various occupations. GLC includes the campers’ parents to encourage them to engage their daughters more in their majors and career choices.
The tagline for the camp was “MyDream, MyLife, MyFuture: Exploring Pathways to Leadership.” Occupational themes the campers explored included: architecture, environmentalism and sustainability (including green jobs and healthy communities), nutrition and healthy living, optometry and education.
There were 34 women presenters at the camp, including: Linda Daus, president of the Zonta Club of St. Louis, a service organization that is part of a global network of professional women; Bonita Cornute, consumer affairs reporter with KTVI (Channel 2); Sarah Weissman, an architectural technician with HOK, a global architectural firm; Jannis Evans, health program representative with the Missouri Department of Health; and Dr. Barbara Brown, manager of student and special services with the UMSL College of Optometry.
UMSL students and graduate students served as peer mentors during the camp and oversaw groups by grade-level and career aspirations, as well as facilitated some of the sessions.
The GLC is funded in part by Judith A. Cochran, director of the E. Desmond Lee Regional Institute of Tutorial Education, Commerce Bank, Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri, Missouri Department of Health, Ranken Technical College, the UMSL Women’s Leadership Council and the Zonta Club of St. Louis.
Other pre-collegiate programs at UMSL this summer include the Bridge Program Summer Academy and the Junior Science, Engineering and Humanities Symposium.
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