High schoolers learn key skills during ‘uplifting’ Girls Leadership Institute at Spalding

Steve Jones

Spalding University hosted 38 rising high school juniors and seniors this week for Louisville Girls Leadership’s first Girls Leadership Institute.

The girls stayed Tuesday through Thursday, July 16-18, in the Spalding dorms and spent their days participating in workshops and service projects and listening to speakers, all meant to teach them leadership skills such as public speaking, personal branding and project management while advocating for the empowerment of women.

“I feel like this program is definitely uplifting,” said Sydney Tucker, a senior at Manual High School. “And it’s a chance for networking.”

Spalding has been a site for Louisville Girls Leadership meetings for the past several years. Dr. Laura Strickland, a faculty member in the Auerbach School of Occupational Therapy and formerly the chair of the OT school, was a founding member of the LGL board and helped bridge the connection to the university, said Kelsie Smithson, LGL program coordinator.

Smithson said the missions of Louisville Girls Leadership and Spalding align and have made for a strong partnership. She said she enjoyed working with deans and leaders on campus to plan the Girls Leadership Institute and always found them helpful and accommodating.

Girls who attended the program said they enjoyed their time at Spalding and getting a taste of what college like will be like for them after high school.

Tucker said Spalding is her No. 1 choice for college at this point, with early plans to study business and leadership. She liked the values of the school and small campus.

“I feel this would be a great environment,” she said.

Spalding President Tori Murden McClure was among the women leaders in education, business and government who spoke with the group.

“She was wonderful, so inspiring,” said Leydis Acosta, a senior at Fairdale High School. “She came across as very genuine.”