Annual Summer Leadership Academy continues to grow

The Summer Leadership Academy brings together high school girls from across the U.S. to campus for a residential college-prep, career exploration, and leadership program. During the Academy, panels, lectures and interactive workshops are presented by experts from a variety of backgrounds, including law, business, education, and non-profits.

Last week, over 55 emerging high school leaders participated in the three-day program of career exploration, college preparation and leadership. This is an increase in our attendance from 45 young women in 2018. Students came from three states to participate.

Students reflected the diversity of the world around them: 36 percent Latina, 34 percent White, 19 percent African American, 6 percent Middle Eastern, 5 percent Asian American. Mount Mary University prides itself on hosting an incredibly diverse group of young women from across the metropolitan area and across the country.

Eight young professionals joined the participants for a special dinner, offering advice on making mistakes, intentional volunteering, the importance of mentors, and much more to these young leaders. These professionals included:

  • Charmyse Tillman ‘14 – IT Operations Analyst at Clarios
  • Holly McCoy – Executive Director of Literacy Services of Wisconsin
  • Noletta Franz – Labor & Employment Paralegal for Johnson Controls
  • Vanessa Vasquez – Assistant Director of Career Readiness at Carmen High School of Science & Technology
  • Jasmin Treske – Relationship Management/Pricing Associate at BMO Harris Equipment Finance Co.
  • Lisa Emery, CLTC – Assistant Director of Client Services for Northwestern Mutual
  • Samantha Belasco, SHRM-CP – Human Resources Business Partner with Chr. Hansen, Inc.
  • Johannah Karstedt St. John – CEO, Professional Dimensions

For more information about next year’s Summer Leadership Academy, visit