The Junior League of Yakima held their 2nd annual Girls Leadership Summit on Saturday, March 23rd, and as a Sustainer member of the volunteer organization, I was honored to have been asked to be the emcee for this year's event.

The attendees were local area girls in sixth through eighth grades, and there was a diverse mix of personalities and girl power flowing throughout the main hall of the venue. Breakout sessions inspired the girls to focus on developing confidence, visualize their future using vision boards, and discover what their leadership style and skill-sets are. The keynote speaker was the truly inspirational Moses Lake native, Chazmin Peters, who is currently a First Officer pilot for Alaska Airlines.

What I loved most about the Girls Leadership Summit was that it presented these young ladies with knowledge of how to develop and utilize skills they will need to become leaders of the next generation.

Junior League members and local sponsors chipped in to provide this event to the girls free of charge! They hope to make this event even bigger in the next couple of years to come, so that girls from every middle school in the Yakima Valley can also attend the event free of charge.

I opened up the Leadership Summit with some advice that I wish I could mail to myself back in time when I was in middle school. Here's some of the wisdom I shared with the girls.

Dear Middle School-age Me,

  • Be open to taking some risks and don't be afraid to fail!
  • Allow yourself to feel your pain. It's okay to cry sometimes!
  • You are your own goddess!
  • Pay your dues! If you are not where you want to be in life, just tell yourself, 'I still have to pay my dues! I'll be there someday soon!
  • Don't compare yourself to others, not on Instagram, Facebook and especially not in real life!
  • Become great at more than one thing! It is important to have a skill or trade to fall back on so that you can have multiple streams of income later in life!

The Junior League of Yakima is a non profit organization of women dedicated to promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women, and improving the community through effective action and leadership of trained volunteers for over 80 years.