Passing through the glass ceiling

Some of tomorrow’s leaders – young women from FM-area high schools – gathered at the NDSU Alumni center on January 23rd for a day-long exchange of ideas and mentoring designed to both impress and empower.

The fourth annual “Breakthrough” conference for area high school girls, organized by Fargo South DECA members Abbey Benson, Anna Benson and Jordan Hanson, explored the gender phenomenon of the glass ceiling, and allows attendees to network with and learn from female business leaders from the region. The conference also encouraged them to pursue a career in something they have a passion for, including the choice to own their own business.

International author, renowned Brazilian psychotherapist, and successful Weight Loss Master Coach Chris Linnares was the conference’s featured speaker. She spoke about her life experiences to inspire attendees to have a better outlook for themselves.

The conference then broke off into roundtables, featuring successful women in business, including Nichole Hensen, owner of Nichole’s Fine Pastries; Tanya Martineau, co-founder of Unseen Ministries; Dr. Melissa McCulley, owner of McCulley Optix Gallery; Barb McConn, president of Dakota Air Parts International; Kim Solberg, owner of Solo Designs; Katie Lewis, owner of Katie Lewis Photography; and Gretchen Ingbretson, owner of The Bridal Shop.

An Entrepreneurship Team Challenge ended the day. Attendees broke off into groups and came up with a new product  made out of recyclable materials. Each team presented their sales pitch for the product to the rest of the groups.

Fifty-one students from West Fargo, Fargo North, Davies, South, and Moorhead High Schools attended the event.

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