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Middle School Girls From Stamford Gather To Focus On Leadership

From left: Juanita James CEO/President of Community Foundation; Greenwich Academy students Ashley Hu, (Scarsdale, N.Y.) and Schuyler Sargeant (Greenwich); Zakiya Gray (Bridgeport) and Tricia Hyacinth, manager of Fund for Women and Girls.
From left: Juanita James CEO/President of Community Foundation; Greenwich Academy students Ashley Hu, (Scarsdale, N.Y.) and Schuyler Sargeant (Greenwich); Zakiya Gray (Bridgeport) and Tricia Hyacinth, manager of Fund for Women and Girls. Photo Credit: Frank MacEachern

STAMFORD, Conn. -- More than 100 middle school girls from Fairfield County public and private schools gathered for a leadership summit in Stamford to develop their leadership skills.

The Fairfield County’s Community Foundation’s Fund for Women and Girls Third Annual Leadership Summit was held at Chelsea Piers.

Foundation CEO and President Juanita James said it's a day where girls from different backgrounds and school systems can rub shoulders and break down barriers.

"They are going to get a chance to get exposure to girls they are not necessarily ever going to meet or meet on a day-to-day basis," she said. "They are going to learn they have a lot more in common with one another than they think."

The other goal of the event was to develop leadership and self-esteem among the middle school girls who are at "a delicate age" where they struggle with self-esteem and with issues surrounding peer approval.

Students from Stamford, Greenwich, Norwalk, Darien, New Canaan, Bridgeport and Monroe participated. There were also two Westchester County students who attend Fairfield County schools who participated.

An important national funding initiative for low-income women and their families was also announced Friday. Prosperity Together is a partnership of women's foundations, including Fairfield County's Community Foundation, pledged $100 million in funding over five years to improve women's economic opportunities. James welcomed the move.

“Prosperity Together is an amazing opportunity for women’s foundations throughout the United States to collectively pledge our commitment to all women and their economic future," she said. "We are honored to be part of this historic endeavor.”

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