TEEN LEADERS RAISE THEIR VOICES
For 10 years, Crittenton Services emerging leader training programming has worked to hone girls’ leadership, advocacy, and communication skills. As the scope and capacity of this work has grown, we created a cornerstone experience, an intensive weekend-long conference called the Leadership Summit.
The 2019 Leadership Summit (April 19-21) helped our teens raise their own voice. Fifty teen girls from our SNEAKERS and Goal Setting Girls programs came together with our program leaders, Crittenton alumnae near-peers, and a variety of special guests and experts.
Over the three days of the Summit, the girls grew more confident in their abilities as leaders and as advocates. They learned to better embrace themselves for all their strengths and gifts. Girls from Washington, DC had the chance to get to know girls from Montgomery County and vice versa. They talked about challenges that are obstacles to their bright futures and how to overcome them. In the words of one of the participants, the leadership Summit, “Taught me to both love myself and stand up for myself.”
Our 2019 Leadership Summit topics included:
- I Am a Leader, developing self-advocacy skills and Crittenton Ambassador training
- My Voice Shall Be Heard, identifying obstacles to their own success and selecting an advocacy campaign topic
- Career Exploration and Digital Literacy, building career pathways as young adult professionals share their career journeys
- Wellness and Self Care, incorporating mindfulness into a teen’s self-care plan
- Bringing It All Together, preparation for the “Talk with a Teen Girl” High Tea
All 50 girls who completed the Summit became Crittenton Ambassadors as our staff led them in a pinning ceremony. Ambassadors are called upon to represent Crittenton at events, media interviews, and work with staff to welcome new teens just joining the program. Each girl received a special butterfly pin and a signature Crittenton black blazer to commemorate their time at the Summit, as well as a certificate of completion.
Several Ambassadors stepped up to play a leadership role at the High Tea that took place on April 25th. During that event, they were able to share their experiences in Crittenton programs and at the Summit in front of more than 100 of their fellow teens and 100 caring adults.