Student Summits

Young Women's Leadership Conference

This annual conference is designed for high school girls in California who have leadership potential and an interest in politics and civic engagement. Young women will meet with and learn from women elected officials and professionals and learn valuable communication and relationship building skills.

Thanks to everyone who participated and organized this inspiring conference!

For the 2022 Young Women’s Leadership Conference, students participated in discussions on community building, advocacy, and how to get involved in politics and public service. They heard from and networked with influential women leaders from various political spheres, including non-profits, advocacy, and public office. Students participated in an engaging workshop called "Finding Your Why" with Multiplying Good. In partnership with USC Unruh Associates. Thank you to all the participants, speakers, and USC volunteers who joined us!

In case you missed it, watch the 2022 Young Women’s Leadership Conference video and view the conference photos.

The Young Women’s Leadership Conference brings high school girls throughout the Los Angeles area to USC to encourage them to channel their leadership into public service and to become more involved in their communities. Students will learn the fundamentals of community organizing from an intersectional lens and hear from and meet with influential women leaders.

The annual Young Women’s Leadership Conference has helped hundreds of young women become more civically engaged. Some program participants have gone on to work in government agencies, nonprofit organizations, and the offices of local, state, and federal elected officials. The conference is free and open to all high school-aged girls.

“In all of the panelists’ stories, I feel like there’s a little part where I can connect to them which makes it easier to imagine myself in a high position.” -Kimberly Olivares, Santa Monica High School

“The conference helped me just by being able to talk to some elected officials that have really made an impact on their community. As a young woman and as a woman of color, seeing panelists that have made changes [and] that I feel resemble who I am was really inspiring.” -Maya Reval, Culver City High School

Select Speakers:

  • Tara Campbell - Mayor of Yorba Linda
  • Wendy Carrillo - California State Assemblymember (D-LA)
  • Barbara Comstock - Former U.S. Congresswoman (R-VA); Spring 2021 Fellow at Center for the Political Future
  • Anita DeFrantz - Olympic medalist; First American woman to serve on the International Olympic Committee
  • Kelly Gonez- Board President, Los Angeles Unified School District
  • Lindsey Horvath - Former Mayor, West Hollywood
  • Shaniqua McClendon - Political Director at Crooked Media; Spring 2021 Fellow at Center for the Political Future
  • Aida Rodriguez - Vice President of Advocacy and Government Relations, Alliance College-Ready Public Schools
  • Leslee Sherrill - Former Vice President, ABC News
  • Margita Thompson - Vice President, Public Affairs, California Resources Corporation
  • Mimi Walters - Former Congresswoman (R-CA), Fall 2020 Fellow at Center for the Political Future

Thank you to our donors, especially principal funder Kelly Corley, for making this incredible experience possible for so many deserving young women.

Watch previous Young Women's Leadership Conference videos: 2016 here, 2017 here, 2018 here, and 2021 here.