Girls are learning to lead in their future careers

The Girls Leadership Committee is helping its members gain confidence

Ana Paula Ibarraran, Reporter

The Girls Leadership Committee is planning a professional women’s panel in the coming months. The purpose of this panel is to give girls a chance to ask professional women about their careers.

When this club was created a few years ago, the main purpose was to empower and increase the self confidence of the teenage girls at McLean. The mission is still true today.

“A lot of times we believe society’s messages as young women about who we are supposed to be, what we’re supposed to look like, how we’re supposed to act,” said counselor Kathleen Otal, the sponsor of the Girls Leadership Committee.

This club meets every other Thursday in the career center in student services. Any girl can join, and the girls in the club are all unique and contribute to the conversation.

“There are some girls who are very outgoing and not shy at all. There are some girls who are quieter, who are more in the background, but they are supportive of the group’s goals and mission,” Otal said.

Having a club like this allows girls to help one another and have a positive place to go in the school.

“What makes this club unique is that it’s really about the power of positivity and helping other girls be the best that they can be and reach their goals,” Otal said.

Principal Ellen Reilly helped start this club and is still very involved.

“I think that Dr. Reilly being a part of the group is a big support. She’s a good role model for the girls and she has definitely helped the girls to create these big events,” Otal said.

Last year, they had women speak about their jobs and how women can be successful in their careers.

“We had a speaker, a woman who worked in the FBI, as the main speaker. Then we had about 28 professional women come and share information about their careers with girls,” Otal said.

Otal hopes that the girls who are a part of this club have learned a lot from this experience.

“They should know that women can be leaders in all areas of life. We should never let anyone or anything hold us back from what we want to do. That we shouldn’t feel guilty about anything,” Otal said. “We should feel empowered and confident and they should feel ready to take on anything in life.”