"It is not every day that free chances are available to young West Virginia women -- to expand our horizons and speed our way down the paths of success with the help and tips from the wonderful guest speaker of this conference," she said, "and even local women of the YWCA that have proven themselves day in and day out."
Different sessions will be taught by area women, including Denise Burgess, of Charleston Area Medical Center; Carolyn Meadows, director of programs at the YWCA; Karen Workman, 2010 Consulting; Becky King, an organizational consultant; and Jeri Matheny, communications director for Appalachian Power.
Kickbusch will lead sessions as well as speak on the topic "Living your Legacy." Based in Texas, she broke barriers by becoming the highest-ranking Hispanic woman in the Combat Support Field of the U.S. Army.
In 1996, Kickbusch founded the human development company Educational Achievement Services Inc. to fulfill her mission of preparing future leaders. Kickbusch has shared her knowledge of effective leadership with hundreds of schools, universities, corporations and government institutions in the U.S. and abroad.
YWCA volunteer Ashley Showen, a recent college graduate who works at CAMC, will attend the conference. She sees it as an important way to continue to hone her leadership skills.
"I went out of state to college -- Ohio University -- and chose to come back to Charleston because I have strong ties to the city and have a passion for making it a place to which more people will want to return," Showen said.
"As young women, it's so important to feel confident that we have the power to make a difference. Leading by example, I believe we can encourage others to effect change in their communities. Volunteerism is a large part of that, and the YWCA is one of the best examples I can think of in leading that charge.
"Hopefully, this conference will get more people in the community involved in the great work the YWCA and other local nonprofits are doing to make Charleston a better place."
Nina Shell, an account executive with ContactPointe and mother of two, said she believes wholeheartedly in lifelong learning and service.
"I think so many young women are driven to make this community an improved environment, not just atheistically or economically but socially as well," Shell said. "Networking with similarly caring and devoted women will be the greatest opportunity this event could offer. I also hope to learn more about the YWCA's efforts to improve the lives of individuals in the most destitute of circumstances. The bigger picture is that our society would benefit by lending a hand and harnessing the tremendous spirit these people exhibit."
To participate in the "Young Women Leading Change" conference, contact Andrea Thaxton at 304-340-3584 or at athax...@ywcacharleston.org. Admission to the conference is free as part of the continuing mission of the YWCA.
Reach Sara Busse at sara.bu...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1249.