The JLR’s Young Women’s Summit is a four-day, professionally facilitated workshop for at-risk girls in grades 6 through 8. The purpose of the Summit is to engage a diverse group of young women from Reading and Berks County in a meaningful dialogue that will: 1) expand their developmental assets, 2) cultivate their leadership skills, and 3) empower them to make a difference in their community through civic engagement and the creation of a community project. At the end of the four-day Summit, the young women will have identified their personal strengths, defined an area of need within the community, and have completed a service learning project to positively impact their community. This process will move these young women away from being objects of programs towards being the creators of a resource to positively impact their community.
The 6th annual Young Women’s Summit was held in February of 2017. If you are interested in participating in or supporting the summit, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
On March 3, 2012 at the Goggleworks, The Junior League of Reading, PA, Inc., held our first Young Women’s Summit. The Summit was a day-long workshop for young women aged 11-16 years and was supported by JLR members and community volunteers. It was led by Judie Thompson, a JLR past president, who used her experience as a professional facilitator to lead the discussion throughout the day. The theme for the Summit, “Empowered Voices” reflected the goal of providing these girls with a chance to share their thoughts and hopes for themselves and their community. 43 young women registered to participate and over 30 volunteers signed on to help.
Throughout development of the Young Women’s Summit, the JLR collaborated with local youth-serving nonprofit organizations – such as Olivet Boys & Girls Club, CONCERN, Girl Scouts, Goodwill Keystone, and Gilmore Henne Fund — to gain insight, share knowledge, and recruit young women from within their programs. By collaborating with and involving other non-profit organizations in the Summit process, we have raised awareness about JLR and our new initiative, as well as provided more opportunities for asset building in the community. With such a comprehensive foundation of collaboration and a strength-based curriculum, the day was impactful for participants and volunteers alike.
The Summit, now in its sixth year, has evolved from a two-day workshop into a four-day professionally facilitated workshop that prepares and inspires young women to become leaders of change. This year (2017), forty young women from five middle schools in Berks County signed up to take part in the Summit and completed six service learning projects that positively impacted the local community.
Did You Know?
- The Young Women’s Summit was designed to build and strengthen the Developmental Assets of young women in our community and, as a result, enhance their ability to build the Assets of their peers.
- Decades of research on over 1 million adolescents show that the more Developmental Assets that youth possess, the more likely they are to engage in healthy lifestyle activities and the less likely they are to engage in negative behaviors such as violence and drugs / alcohol. (http://www.search-institute.org/developmental-assets)
- Easy ways to strengthen the developmental assets of young people are to smile at them, learn their names, greet them when you see them, and ask them about themselves and their interests. Listen to them.
- One goal of the Summit was to empower girls to make a difference in their community through the creation of a community project. When young people engage in the asset of Service to Others, they are more likely to experience more of the other assets over time.
- The Junior League of Reading was awarded a $5,500 grant from the Reading Youth Violence Prevention Plan to fund this top notch program and the ensuing community project.
Past Young Women’s Summit OutcomesPoster Project 1 (English) Poster Project 1 (Spanish) Poster Project 2 Poster Project 3
The Peace League
We are a group of young women who first came together at the Young Women’s Summit on March 3, 2012.
The Young Women’s Summit is an initiative of The Junior League of Reading, PA, Inc. where young women, ages 11 to 16, gathered to talk about leadership and how to make a difference to impact our community. Since that time, we’ve met on six Saturdays to develop a project to make our community a better place. As a group, we decided to focus on making a safe and clean community and a community of hope and friendship.
We developed a poster campaign to illustrate our message to other young people to “Be the One” to stand up, make the right decision, and make a positive change.
These were our ideas, our words, our pictures, and our vision.
Our goal is to get these posters in front of as many young people as possible. Look for our posters in schools, stores, and parks – we’re spreading our message of peace across the town!
Event Images and Videos