In honor of International Women’s Day, celebrated every March 8 to recognize women’s social, economic, and political achievements worldwide, Wilmington University President Dr. LaVerne Harmon served as a panelist at the Caesar Rodney High School (CRHS) International Women’s Day forum.
Titled “Women of Today Empowering Women of Tomorrow,” the forum was moderated by CRHS seniors Jade Baun and Jasmyne Kinslow, who asked questions crafted by students. They explored meaningful topics such as breaking the glass ceiling, the importance of role models and mentors, networking, and creating a legacy.
“I was honored to be one of eight panelists who have achieved a level of success by overcoming obstacles and staying true to ourselves,” says Dr. Harmon. “The sooner girls can be exposed to female role models willing to speak truthfully about the realities of professional life, the better prepared they will be and the more confident they will become.”
In the final moments of the discussion, Dr. Harmon surprised and thrilled the audience by presenting a full undergraduate scholarship to Wilmington University to a female CRHS senior. (CRHS officials will select the recipients.) Her announcement was met with a standing ovation.
“The sooner girls can be exposed to female role models willing to speak truthfully about the realities of professional life, the better prepared they will be and the more confident they will become.” — Dr. LaVerne Harmon
Joining Dr. Harmon were women leaders in various statewide industries: Dr. Christine Alois, superintendent of Caesar Rodney School District and former deputy secretary of the Delaware Department of Education; Jackie Griffith, vice president of Government and Community Relations at Delaware State University; Carrie Leishman, president and CEO of the Delaware Restaurant Association; Tracey Miller, director of Marketing and Community Engagement at Dedicated to Women; Senator Nicole Poore, president of Jobs for Delaware Graduates and representative of Delaware’s 12th Senate District; and Kristin Stonesifer, owner at The House of Coffi; and Dr. Michelle Taylor, president and CEO of United Way of Delaware.
CRHS Principal Dr. Sherry Kijowski and Assistant Principal Kristin Brown-Massey led the event that welcomed about 130 attendees. Says Brown-Massey, “A woman who is a leader should always create space for the next woman to continue the journey.”
CRHS hopes to make the forum an annual event.