Committee empowers all

Girls’ Leadership Committee seeks to help all students become strong leaders


Leaders Supporting Leaders – The Girls’ Leadership executive board gathers for a morning meeting.The executive board of the Girls’ Leadership Committee has created a series of workshops that will be helpful to all members. (Photo courtesy of Rachel Zeldin)

Nyla Marcott, Reporter

Self-defense, successful job interviews and networking are the focus of workshops the Girls’ Leadership Committee has planned for this year.

The Girls’ Leadership Committee is a student-run club that provides a supportive environment for students to work together to plan events, form friendships and learn from powerful women. 

“The McLean Girls’ Leadership Committee is a . . . group of girls who work to make a more inclusive and empowering environment for girls at McLean,” said senior Lauren Scott, co-president of the committee. “[Meetings help to] connect the different grade levels, so you can meet people of all different classes of the school.”

The club has made changes to its policy to allow all students to participate.

“Everyone is welcome,” said junior Rohini Kumaran, co-president of the committee. Although the committee was originally focused on supporting girls, the membership requirements were expanded to be more inclusive. “You do not . . . have to be a girl to join the club,” said club sponsor Beth Werfel, McLean’s school psychologist.  

The club has planned many activities that will take place throughout the year. The events are centered on valuable topics for high school students that help them to be strong and confident leaders. 

“[The Committee works to] provide all necessary resources that girls need or could use to their advantage to . . . use their voice and both better engage within their community but also do whatever they want to do,” Scott said.

The group meets in the career center on the first and third Thursdays of each month. The Presidents of the Girls’ Leadership Committee encourage students to come to meetings when they are able to attend and not to feel pressured when they cannot.

“We encourage people to stop by whenever they can; you can pick which meetings you come to . . . and hang out with a bunch of people who all . . . want the same things for the school,” Scott said.

The Girls’ Leadership Committee began with five members in 2016 and has grown significantly since then. This year, the Committee added four new club positions, two social media specialists and two executive advisers. The new positions will increase the opportunities for students to have a leadership role and help the club run more smoothly.

“[The Committee] was partly Dr. Reilly’s idea because she really wanted girls to be voices of support for one another,” said club sponsor Kathleen Otal, school counselor. 

As the Girls’ Leadership Committee continues to grow, its goal is to expand its outreach and to help members become leaders in their schools, communities and beyond. 

“[The Girls’ Leadership Committee] empowers other girls to be active members and to support other women instead of being jealous of them and putting them down,” Kumaran said.