One hundred young women from Denver Public Schools attended the inaugural Girls Empowerment Summit, hosted by Denver Broncos Community Development, where they participated in Junior Achievement (JA) workshops on Personal Branding and Fiscal Fitness. Other activities at the Empowerment Summit included a networking session led by the Denver Scholarship Foundation, team building led by Playworks Colorado, meditation led by local life coach Elani Engelken, and a keynote address by Women’s Foundation of Colorado President & CEO Lauren Y. Casteel. Holistic leadership development was the goal.
“We at the Broncos have a ton of co-ed programming, but this is a really neat opportunity for us to find something that’s strictly for female student-athletes in Denver Public Schools,” Senior Manager of Community Development Liz Mannis said. “They’ll be exposed to female employees from the Broncos throughout the day, but also female leaders from across different industries in Colorado. So it’s a unique opportunity for them to see role models, ask questions and just learn to be themselves.”
The JA Personal Brand workshop was led by JA Board Member Angela Davidson, who challenged each student-athlete to consider how she portrays her values. Successful companies use branding strategies to express themselves, and individuals can do the same, Davidson explained.
“It’s important to tell your story. Personal branding is much more than what you say or do. It’s important to be able to understand the longevity of the actions or inactions you take,” said Davidson.
Similarly, the JA Fiscal Fitness workshop, facilitated by JA Capstone Program Manager Leah Caputo, presented the girls with new ideas and empowering tools, such as long-term budgeting and credit-building. North High School sophomore and soccer player Madison Youngs explained, “I really didn’t know about some of these things, like loans and credit scores, and it helped me build my understanding. It was super beneficial.”
Caputo described the Empowerment Summit as, “a great introduction to the skills and behaviors that will make the youth today into well-rounded employees of the future.” She added, “It is important to empower our future female generation with skills that will make them the best versions of themselves going into the workplace.”