Middle school students at the 2015 Empowering Girls Conference
Middle school students at the 2015 Empowering Girls Conference

Empowering Girls Conferences
December 3rd, 2015

350 Girls From Middlesex Schools Attend "Empowering Girls 2015" Conferences

Cambridge – Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan and Middlesex Partnerships for Youth hosted more than 350 students from middle and high schools across Middlesex County at this year’s “Empowering Girls 2015” conferences held at The Broad Institute in Cambridge.  This year’s conference focused on the theme “Curate Your Life: Creating Your Own Story,” encouraging girls to use curation to help identify their strengths and assets to determine their own trajectory to success -- now and in the future.

The program is designed to encourage confidence-building, self-assertion and goal-setting through compelling speakers and interactive presentations. Participants were encouraged to reflect on their lives and to analyze what they are doing well and where they could improve. They also heard from speakers that highlighted their own personal success and failure and encouraged students to build strong relationships, always be eager to learn and not fear their faults. 

During an interactive breakout session at the Conference the students created a story board using what they had learned about curation from the speakers.  The young women also wrote a letter to themselves and preserved it in a time capsule to be opened at a later date.

“The objective of Empowering Girls is to encourage young women to think positively about themselves, to embrace what makes them unique and to use those traits to achieve their goals,” said District Attorney Ryan. “This year’s theme was really special because the participants got to listen to the personal stories of some very positive female role models and then reflect on that and learn how to tell the story of their own life.”

Students who attended the events represented schools from across Middlesex County, including, Arlington, Arlington School in Belmont, Assabet Valley, Bedford, Everett, Greater Lowell Technical High School, Hudson, Jackson School of Newton, Malden, Nashoba Valley Technical High School, Natick, Somerville, St. Raphael School of Medford, Valley Collaborative, Wakefield, Watertown, Winchester and Woburn.

Speakers included: Emily Stoehrer, jewelry curator with the Museum of Fine Arts, Alissa Myrick, Harvard School of Public Health and The Broad Institute, Donna Decker, Author and Professor at Franklin Pierce College; and Tess Shatzer, National Parks Service in Lowell.

Middlesex Partnerships for Youth, Inc., (MPY) is a non-profit organization which provides prevention and intervention resources and training to school districts and communities in collaboration with the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office.  District Attorney Ryan chairs the MPY Board of Directors.

Through MPY’s efforts, educators, parents, and students engage in collaborative trainings with law enforcement, social services, and community-based organizations as well as share the latest information and resources. Such interactions provide the foundation for creating solution-oriented, community-based, multi-disciplinary approaches to addressing issues including youth violence, substance abuse, child abuse and neglect, hate crimes, and harassment across Middlesex County.

Middlesex County is one of the most populous counties in the country with 54 towns and cities and 26 colleges in urban, suburban, and rural areas, comprising over one quarter of the population of Massachusetts.  The Middlesex District Attorney’s Office has offices throughout the county, including in Ayer, Cambridge, Concord, Framingham, Lowell, Malden, Marlborough, Newton, Somerville, Waltham and Woburn.