Hannah Higbea '22 and Lexi Justice '22 Share Leadership Lessons from Young Elites 2019 Summit

Sophomores Hannah Higbea and Lexi Justice shared their major takeaways from See Her Lead's Young Elites 2019 Summit in their neighborhood newsletters this month.  See Her Lead is an MBA-style leadership development program for 7th–12th-grade girls, with annual programming and a week-long "Summit" where participants learn from high-impact programs, mentorship from women leaders in the community, and a robust curriculum.

The Young Elites 2019 Summit, hosted by See Her Lead at Davidson Day School, prepared 7th–12th-grade girls to become leaders ready to succeed on the global stage through mentorship, education, and real-world experience. 

Two Davidson Day students, Hannah Higbea '20 and Lexi Justice '20 shared their experience at the Young Elites 2019 Summit by answering two questions in their neighborhood newsletters.  Higbea was published in this month's Talking Points and Justice was published in this month's The Peninsula Navigator.  We've republished their writing, below.  

Hannah Higbea '22

How are you more developed as a leader from your experience at the 2019 Summit?

I am more developed as a leader from my 2019 Summit because of the great leaders that talked to us.  They were excellent examples of what a leader should be like.  Listening and learning from them developed me to be more powerful and outgoing with my voice and skills. 

This specific Summit was very impactful because I was able to use the skills that I learned and apply them to a real-world scenario. 

I had the opportunity to be the CEO of a startup company. This opportunity allowed me to practice leadership skills that I had never used before. Instructing other people, speaking in front of people, and taking control are a few examples of the many skills I learned.  After this Summit, I feel much more comfortable with not being afraid to use my leadership in other situations.

Why is it so important to see women leading in our community and abroad, and what about the Summit helped you come to this realization?

It is important to see women leading in our community because it gives women the same chance that men have.  The inequality of men and women has to come to an end, so seeing women start that change is very inspiring.

Women as leaders is an inspiration to younger generations so it is important for them to continue.  The Summit helped me realize how powerful women can be.  Listening to very successful women was an eye-opener of how much good advice and skills they can give us.

Lexi Justice '22

How are you more developed as a leader from your experience at the 2019 Summit?

From my experience at the 2019 Summit, I learned the qualities that it takes to be an excellent leader and new skills to develop my role as a leader in the community and at school.

What made this year’s Summit much more impactful to my development as a leader was that I was able to use them in practice.  As we learned about important aspects of the business world, we had the task to create a business in small groups.  We had four and a half days to create a business, come up with a pitch, and then we had to present them to four successful businesswomen and get their feedback. 

I had the opportunity to be the lead role in our company as the CEO.  We learned about important business tools like negotiation and money management.  Being a leader in my group as our company progressed over the week strengthened my confidence and helped me find my voice in being a leader.  Before the Summit, I never would have thought that in four days I would be able to create a business and lead the business into presenting in front of an audience.

Confidence is important in being a leader and after the Summit my confidence always feels much higher.  After the Summit experience, I can share my views much more comfortably and I feel much more prepared to take on leadership roles.

I am more developed as a leader because I now know important business tools that I have never learned in school.  The Summit is a place to grow and become a stronger leader.

Why is it so important to see women leading in our community and abroad, and what about the Summit helped you come to this realization?

It is very important to see women in leadership roles today because men have had the majority of these roles for far too long.  It is 2019 and this inequality must come to an end.  Women need the chance for their voices to be heard and they need the opportunity to lead.  Who knows, women might have some great ideas and they could lead the world to even better success.  But nobody knows because men still dominate most leadership roles.

The 2019 Summit helped me come to this realization because I had the opportunity to interact and learn from some very successful women.  During the panel in this year’s Summit, I listened to important ideas and advice from women that I look up to, including Amaris McComas, Tiara Brown, Natasha Hemmingway, and Melissa Somers.  The value and quality of their words were so impactful and I can only imagine what the world is missing out on.

See Her Lead, formerly Young Elites, is a nonprofit started and operated by Davidson Day parent Jennifer Shiley.  Annual memberships for the 2019–2020 academic year are available now, and registration for the 2020 Summit will begin in December 2019.  

School Information

750 Jetton Street
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An Independent Day School educating students 2 years old through 12th grade