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Olivet College recognizes that the key to promoting women’s leadership is to introduce the topic to girls at a young age. In order to do just that, the college is hosting the ATHENA International Girls’ Leadership Camp Friday to Sunday, June 15-17 for middle school and high school girls from 6th to 12th grade and incoming Olivet College freshmen.

This transformative three-day camp will build girls’ unique attributes and traits by focusing on confidence, communication and relationship skills. The camp aims to help you learn how to advocate for yourself and others, as well as find your courage to lead, build self-confidence, learn how to express yourself to lead positive change, and stand in your voice by discovering your true authentic self. These skills will be taught by “Ment- Hers” who have completed the Olivet College ATHENA International Women’s Leadership Program, under the direction of the Women’s Leadership Institute (WLI) director and advisory council.

“I am so excited to expand the Olivet College Women’s Leadership Institute to include the ATHENA International Girls’ Leadership Camp,” said Traci Corey, WLI director and presidential spouse. “For female leaders of all ages, it’s critical to be confident in your own voice and lead as your authentic self. The knowledge and skills that this camp focuses on will allow girls to do that, resulting in leadership training that sticks with them. As Martha Mayhood Mertz, founder of ATHENA International, states in ‘Becoming Athena: Eight Core Principles of Enlightened Leadership,’ if we stay true to ourselves, even though we suffer defeats, we are not diminished.

“We know women can achieve anything, and the best way to do that is to help girls begin developing their leadership skills and realizing their potential at an early age. The college has had great success with our annual Cultivating Women Leaders event and the inaugural ATHENA International Women’s Leadership Program OC students participated in this year, and we are confident this girls’ camp will continue the Olivet College tradition of supporting and empowering women.”

Engaging sessions will focus on the acclaimed ATHENA Leadership model, developed by ATHENA International and used around the world. ATHENA International is a well-recognized successful non-profit organization founded in Lansing, Michigan that seeks to support, develop and honor women leaders through programs that are administered in partnership with host organizations. The eight core principles of the model include:

  1. Live Authentically: Leaders know their values and remain true to them.
  2. Learn Constantly: Leaders seek knowledge.
  3. Build Relationships: Leaders engage, empower and trust.
  4. Foster Collaboration: Leaders welcome others to the work of leadership.
  5. Advocate Fiercely: Leaders champion what they believe is right.
  6. Act Courageously: Leaders dare.
  7. Give Back: Leaders serve.
  8. Celebrate: Leaders remember and rejoice.

Female students graduated from the Olivet College ATHENA International Women’s Leadership Program after completing the yearlong institute, and will share their new skills with other young girls at the camp.

The camp begins with check in and a welcome session, followed by a dinner prepared by OC’s executive chef. Girls will be able to network with Ment-Hers and premier women leaders from around the state of Michigan while learning social networking and dining skills.

The second day of the camp will include five hands-on sessions covering principles of the ATHENA Leadership model, including interactive discussions, group projects, videos and documentaries and more. Participants will also enjoy a cookout at the Hance House, the Olivet College presidential home, complete with games and informal networking opportunities. The camp culminates with two additional leadership sessions and a closing ceremony.

“I had the privilege of taking part in the ATHENA International Women’s Leadership Program for college students here on campus, and it was one of the most inspirational and beneficial experiences I have had as an aspiring leader and woman,” senior Dominique Giroux explained. “The ATHENA International Leadership model is a great tool to help women and girls of all ages understand that becoming a leader is possible, and I am really looking forward to serving as a Ment-Her at the camp. Personally, having strong role models and mentors has shown me that my dreams can become a reality, and I can’t wait to be able to do that for other young girls.”

Overnight camp accommodations, all meals, a camp T-shirt, a participant handbook and age appropriate leadership training are included in the $25 per participant cost. Scholarships are available to help make this opportunity attainable for interested girls. Read FAQs to learn more.

Registration is now open for the Olivet College ATHENA International Girls’ Leadership Camp. If you would like to learn more about the Women’s Leadership Institute or how you can become a funder, email wli@olivetcollege.edu.

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