2nd Annual Business & Leadership Summit another Major Success Featured

On Saturday, February 7th, The Garden State Woman Education Foundation held its 2nd Annual Business & Leadership Summit for New Jersey High School Girls. The evaluations don't lie, it was a huge success! We can't wait to do it again next year! Thank you to our sponsors KPMG and PNC, everyone from the Rutgers Business School, all our panel speakers, and of course our participants!

Rutgers2Over 100 young women registered from 35 high schools, plus some came with their counselors or parents. Their evaluations show that this was an invaluable experience and they learned a lot. For example, we asked, "What was the best part of the program for you?" Here are some of the responses:

  • "When all the women were telling stories about what they do. I was interested in all of them."
  • "The Future Women Leaders panel showing that if you want something you have to fight for it. They also taught us that risks are a big part of growing up."
  • "Meeting so many new people and expanding my knowledge on a topic I did not know about."
  • The Panel of Entrepreneurial Women and Future Women Leaders. I found what they said to be very important to me and my life."
  • "Learning I can make opportunities for myself and to push myself out of my comfort zone." 
  • "The Woman Leaders Panel. It was very inspirational to hear how women who started out as ordinary students with obstacles and challenges like me were able to overcome them and find their own path for success."
  • "Connecting and networking with other girls at the event during lunch and the ice breaker session."
  • "The enthusiasm and diversity of each of the speakers and that everyone had different formuals for success.

Donna Wilk Cardillo's keynote address and the fast-paced panels were organized to have women at various stages of their careers and educations share their experiences and guidance with the high school attendees. The panels included:

  • Three "C" level women leaders with KPMG, PNC Wealth Management and Mars International: Katie Dahler, Theresa deLeon and Isobel Wayrick.
  • Three women entrepreneurs experienced in starting and developing new ventures: Aiko Thurlow, Sarah Neill and Diana Bald.
  • Four young women, three currently seniors in college and one in grad school: Dana Drahos, Rohini Putcha, Natasha Pojedinec, and Cherae Boyce.

In the middle of the program there was a 40 minute break-out session in which teams of high school young women participated in a business quiz game led by students from the Rutgers Business School.

The program ended with a discussion of Rutgers as a possible university for attendees to consider, as well as a discussion of picking the right college for you in general.

KPMG and PNC were the corporate sponsors of the 2nd Annual Business & Leadership Summit. 

Looking Ahead

The Garden State Woman Education Foundation will be extending its impact on young New Jersey high school women in three ways:

  • Hosting the 3rd Annual Business & Leadership Summit again at the Rutgers Business School, Newark.
  • Organizing similar one day programs for high school girls interested in pursuing a business education and career at other college locations in New Jersey.
  • Developing a similar one day program for high school girls interested in pursuing a STEM education and career.

By focusing on exposing young high school women to education and career opportunities in the business and STEM sectors we are guiding them to career options with important upside potential.

We are continuing the Garden State Woman Education Foundation College Scholarship Program.

Going forward we will continue to provide financial college scholarship support and mentoring from the Garden State Woman Education Foundation to young women attending 4 year New Jersey colleges and universities and pursuing a degree and future career either in the business or a STEM sector.

The Application for scholarship support is included here: GSWEF_Scholarship_Application.docx. Please mail your application to the Garden State Woman Education Foundation at 210 Parker Road, Long Valley, NJ 07853, or email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

If you want to help there are several ways:

  • Donate to the Garden State Woman Education Foundation at 210 Parker Road, Long Valley, NJ 07853.
  • Have your organization sponsor one or more of our Business or STEM Leadership Summits. Contact Judy Chapman at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
  • Volunteer to mentor one of the Garden State Woman college scholarship recipients. Again contact Judy Chapman at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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