Skip to main content

NKU Empowers High School Girls at
Young Women Lead Conference

julie carrier selfie with crowd

Sept. 17, 2020 —  Northern Kentucky University’s Institute for Talent Development and Gifted Studies invites high school girls to be bold, fearless and lead with confidence at the 10th Annual Young Women Lead (YWL) Live! from Sept. 24-25.

The popular conference will be delivered virtually this year, allowing high school girls to join whether they reside in the urban core, in the suburbs or on farms. YWL aims to change the way high school girls perceive themselves, challenge them to reach higher personal growth levels and encourage girls to pursue careers they may not have considered. The conference features interactive sessions and keynote speakers centered on LEAD: Leadership, Education and Development.

“Research shows that 70% of young women suffer from a lack of self-confidence and believe they do not measure up somehow, and more than half of all girls say that girls don’t consider a career in STEM because of lack of confidence,” said Dr. Kimberly Clayton-Code, director of NKU’s Institute for Talent Development and Gifted Studies. “These insecurities are stifling their dreams, and this conference plays a pivotal role in encouraging girls to pursue careers they aren’t considering.”

Students posing for social media photo with COEHS frame

The virtual conference features a slate of award-winning presenters, including Julie Marie Carrier, Monique Coleman and Maryam and Nivaal Rehman as its keynote speakers. Carrier, a best-selling author and Emmy nominee, is recognized as the top coach for young women in the world by Leading Global Coaches/Thinkers 50. Actress Monique Coleman is most known for her role as Taylor McKessie in the High School Musical franchise and has also been named the first-ever United Nations Youth Champion. The Rehman sisters are twin activists, Disney filmmakers and students at the University of Toronto. WCPO-TV multimedia journalist Paola Suro will lead the discussions.

“We’re adapting this year’s conference so that we can continue empowering young women who will impact our community and beyond,” said Dean Ginni Fair, NKU’s College of Education. “With the virtual format, students can join in their classrooms, libraries or homes. We hope to engage even more students by eliminating barriers—such as location, fees, GPAs—to lift all high school girls.”

  • What: 10th Annual Young Women LEAD Conference
  • When: Sept. 24 or Sept. 25, at 9:00 a.m.
  • Where: Zoom link provided upon registration

The conference has empowered 31,000 high school girls through 46 in-person events over the past decade. Presented by Toyota, the Young Women Lead conference is free and open to all students.

“In a time when many students are learning from home, Toyota is grateful that high school girls can count on Young Women LEAD to continue delivering the same high-quality content as its in-person programs,” said Renee Robertson, General Manager of Production Control at Toyota North America. “The virtual events can reach more girls in more communities, improve their lives and put them in the driver’s seat to set the course for their future.”

In addition to NKU and Toyota, community partners include the Duke Energy Foundation and local SOAR participants, a leadership development program designed to help businesses develop their women for future leadership positions.

To learn more about the Young Women Lead Live! and to register, visit its website.


About NKU: Founded in 1968, we are a growing metropolitan university of more than 15,000 students served by more than 2,000 faculty and staff on a thriving suburban campus near Cincinnati. Located in the quiet suburb of Highland Heights, Kentucky—just seven miles southeast of Cincinnati—we have become a leader in Greater Cincinnati and Kentucky by providing a private school education for a fraction of the cost. While we are one of the fastest growing universities in Kentucky, our professors still know our students' names. For more information, visit