Mater Dei Prep Kicks Off First Women’s Leadership Event
The new Mater Dei Prep Women’s Leadership Committee held a kickoff event on Wednesday, September 26, 2018 for the 137 female students.
The kickoff event program gave female Seraphs the opportunity to explore and be empowered by the Women’s Leadership Committee’s mission embodied in seventeen successful women mentors. This kickoff is the first event of many to come to further develop and prepare Mater Dei Prep students. The Women’s Leadership Committee will continue with a student advisory group, workshops and mentoring throughout the year.
The Women’s Leadership Committee mission is, “To support, empower and inspire the young women of Mater Dei Prep by encouraging leadership through introduction to positive female role models in all walks of life; mentoring and providing skills and tools necessary to prepare them for the transition to college and future professional lives; and working with female students to identify and advocate for enhancements at Mater Dei Prep that will ensure equity of opportunity in all areas of student life.”
Mrs. Sue Kiley ’72 was the keynote speaker for the kickoff event and made an impactful impression on the Mater Dei Prep students. “I am so honored to be a part of the group before you today. At your age, I was self-conscious, awkward, and I was so unsure of myself. I kept pushing myself forward and that paid off. Our goal is to be a group that helps all of you reach your full potential. I believe that we all have a leadership seed within us. The more we water that seed with action, the more it grows.”
Sue has had a successful 30-year career in the healthcare industry before entering the political arena. Sue ran for Township Committee in Hazlet in 2014 and won with 57% of the vote. She served as a Committeewoman in 2015, Deputy Mayor in 2016, Mayor in 2017, and is now serving as Deputy Mayor of Hazlet and currently pursuing a position as Monmouth County Freeholder.
All of the mentors were assigned to a specific table and held a discussion group with the students on a topic of leadership, mentoring, or advocacy. Following the round table discussion each group presented their final thoughts to the entire assembly.
“Today was a bright step for the future of young women in the Mater Dei Prep community. We learned how to be leaders in the world and how we need to speak out for what we believe in. We need to be advocates, leaders, and mentors. Thank you to all the impactful women that taught us these lessons today,” said Claire Gaston ’20, student liaison for the Women’s Leadership Steering Committee.
This initiative is led by a steering committee of Mater Dei Prep alumna and friends that include Kathryn McLaughlin ‘72 co-chair, Kathleen Daly co-chair, Mater Dei Prep Associate Head of School, Carolyn Broderick P’21, Dorothea Zando Laux P’17 & ‘19, Christina Hardman O’Neal ’89 & P’22, Debra Mannix, Sue Kiley ’72, Kelly King ’03 Mater Dei Prep Guidance Counselor, and Claire Gaston ’20. The impressive list of mentors include steering committee members as well as Christine Shea Ryan ‘90, Donnalyn Geigerich, Tamara Linde P’20, Mandy Galante, Nicole Meleby ‘07, Regina Donohue P’21, Courtney Coppotelli ‘98, Kerri Krilla ‘02, Julia Dasaro-Drescher ‘88 P’22, Angela Harris ‘96, and Melissa Kenney. The mentors are in a variety of fields that include politics, human resources, law, information technology, marketing and design, media, writing, finance, and business.
“As a Mater Dei Prep Alumni I was honored to participate in this cutting edge initiative to serve the remarkable young women of Mater Dei Prep. Through the generous time and support of professional women from all disciplines our launch event was a great success. We could not have been more pleased with the outcome and we look forward to building a program that provides these young women with the tools and skills that will serve them throughout high school. Our hope is to lead them towards a path to college and beyond and help them achieve a productive and satisfying life,” said Kathryn McLaughlin, Mater Dei Prep Women’s Leadership Steering Committee Co-Chair.