Two female high school students sit a a long desk and take notes during a lecture.
Rising juniors and seniors take part in a LeadHERship Program hosted by Stacy Roberts, DBA, and AU's James M. Hull College of Business. [Michael Holahan/Augusta University]

LeadHERship program teaches local girls about the world of business

Empowering the youth of today in all walks of life can be a daunting challenge. When it comes to women in business, there are plenty of hurdles to clear.

This year, under the guidance of Stacy Roberts, DBA, lecturer in the James M. Hull College of Business, a LeadHERship Summer Program was offered to a number of rising junior and senior girls from the area to help empower them on future journeys.

Roberts’ goal for the week-long program was simple: be impactful with these young women, especially when it comes to business.

“I wanted to help them avoid some of the things that I went through and that I know other young ladies go through,” said Roberts. “So, if we can teach them lessons and we can provide the skills and resources to them to avoid some of those challenges, that’s our main goal.”

woman talks to other young ladies in a classroom
Stacy Roberts, DBA, lecturer in Hull College, discusses business topics during the LeadHERship Summer Program. [Michael Holahan/Augusta University]

Twenty-two students took part in the four-day program, which included discussions on a variety of topics ranging from team building, resume building and networking, how to deal with burnout and self-care to professionalism and professional dress –all tools they will use when going into the workforce.

“It’s so satisfying because these are lessons that they need. You see the light bulb come on, and it’s such a blessing.”

Stacy Roberts, DBA, lecturer in Hull College

Milan Carter, a rising senior at Evans High School, wasn’t expecting the program to be as deep as it was.

“I knew we would cover the basics, but it’s actually been very appealing,” she said. “It’s real life stuff and very relatable. The presenters have been honest and truthful about the business world.”

The different sessions also resonated with Carter in that she didn’t realize a bias still exists in the workforce. It gave her a better perspective on what to expect and how to be better prepared going forward in preventing bias.

She also gained some self-awareness about how to handle herself.

“They instilled in me that I can be even more confident. I’m not ashamed to be confident, but I can be loud and confident instead of being quiet and I don’t want anyone to perceive me in a different way,” Carter said.

Krisha Patel, a rising senior at Lakeside High School, plans to pursue a career in business resulting in her interest in the program. Patel learned a lot of tips and advice from the guest speakers and knows she’ll be able to use them when she’s ready to become a professional.

“I learned a lot that I wouldn’t have thought of,” said Patel. “We learned a lot about business etiquette, resumes and how to advocate for yourself.”

For both Patel and Carter, one speaker, Danielle Hayes, really stuck out. Hayes, an adjunct professor in Pamplin College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences, is a two-time graduate of Augusta University.

“She had a lot to say about self-care and a lot of good advice to have,” said Patel.

“She just came in with energy, which was great. She sat us down and was like, ‘It’s OK to be stressed.’ Especially as an AP student myself, I’m stressed, and she gave us coping mechanisms and said, ‘It’s OK to feel this way, and this is what we do, XYZ, to improve it,’” said Carter.

“If we can teach them lessons and we can provide the skills and resources to them to avoid some of those challenges, that’s our main goal.”

Stacy Roberts, DBA, lecturer in Hull College

For Roberts, the weeklong program was even able to teach her a few things as well, but just looking at the young ladies and seeing them grow and be engaged was a big win.

“It’s so satisfying because these are lessons that they need,” said Roberts. “You see the light bulb come on, and it’s such a blessing. You can present information and they don’t take it in, but these young ladies were genuinely engaged. They’re having fun, they’re laughing, they’re asking questions and they’re telling stories. The seeds are being planted, and you know there’s going to be a harvest from it.”

A woman stands at a computer at the front of the room, talking to a classroom full of high school girls
Ingrid Tutt, events producer at Augusta University, discusses professionalism during the LeadHERship program. [Michael Holahan/Augusta University]
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Written by
Kevin Faigle

Kevin Faigle is Media Relations Specialist at Augusta University. Contact him to schedule an interview on this topic or with one of our experts at kfaigle@augusta.edu.

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Avatar photo Written by Kevin Faigle

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