YORK, Pa. (WHTM) – Excitement filled the room as hundreds of seventh-grade girls from 14 York County school districts gathered in York College’s Collegiate Theatre for the 11th annual Young Women’s Leadership Conference.
This day is just for them. The conference featured motivational speaker Kathleen Hassan, who shared her troubled past with the girls and told how she made it through to be the successful woman she is today.
Hassan encouraged the girls to build self-respect, self-esteem, and self-confidence to help them prepare for life’s challenges.
“It’s all about teaching girls how to find their power and their voice within; teaching them resiliency skills so that they can handle whatever life throws at them,” Hassan said. “They know they are powerful and it’s not what happens but how they respond that determines the quality of their life.”
Hassan inspired then-seventh-grader Kala Kroh seven years ago at the Young Women’s Leadership Conference. It changed her life.
“She really inspired me to go home and tell my parents that I was being picked on,” Kroh said. “My motto is everything happens for a reason and you have to get through the tough times. Everything happens for a reason.”
Kroh is a singer/songwriter and a freshman at Albright College.
York College’s Entrepreneurial Action Us members shared their stories of the struggles they faced while growing up and how they survived.
“I want them to know that they should love who they are now and embrace what makes them and who they are,” ENACTUS president Rachel Rosiak said.
Anayah Brantley of York shared what she learned.
“You can encourage women to just be themselves,” she said.
Wellspan Health, York College, and the American Association of University Women sponsored the event.