Range Resources’ second annual Junior ATHENA Workshop provided young female students from Washington County High Schools with an opportunity to meet and hear from women business leaders in their community. Over 80 students spent the day exchanging ideas and getting hands-on experience to help them realize their full leadership potential as future professionals.
“The young women were inspiring with their determination and ambition, yet they were transparent and authentic,” said Brenda Cline, a member of Range’s board of directors. “Their eagerness to engage and learn was refreshing and energizing for me.”
The workshop was held a week before the annual Washington County ATHENA award ceremony, where the ATHENA Leadership Award is presented to a woman or man who is honored for professional excellence, community service and for actively assisting women in their attainment of professional excellence and leadership skills. Many of the award recipients were panel members or speakers at the workshop.
“I felt fortunate to have the opportunity to be surrounded by so many talented women from many generations and to observe the excitement and bright futures of the high school students,” said Erin McDowell, a Range employee who participated as a mentor. “I think it’s great that Range provided this opportunity for young women.”
Range partnered with POWER, a Washington County Chamber of Commerce Women’s Initiative that aims to provide a dynamic base for successful, professional women to celebrate diversity and recognize the importance of building strong and effective female leaders in the business community. Female business leader attendees work in a variety of fields across the region, including real estate, banking, healthcare, journalism, energy and more.
Dori Ginn, Senior Vice President, also sat on the panel and provided guidance to the young women in attendance.
The workshop commenced with breakfast, followed by a word from Laural Ziemba, Range’s public affairs director.
“As a young person, the prospect of choosing a career can be a daunting task,” said Ziemba. “By meeting local business leaders and hearing their stories firsthand, we are providing a tool to help guide them through some of these more difficult decisions.”
Washington County Commissioner Diana Irey Vaughan spoke about the benefits of public and community service, while Dr. Stephanie Adam, from California University of Pennsylvania, gave an inspiring and engaging conversation about bridging the gap between millennials and Generations X and Y.
“It was a privilege to participate in the Junior ATHENA Workshop alongside so many accomplished women from across the region,” said Washington County Commissioner Diana Irey Vaughan. “I am inspired by the leadership qualities I saw in the young women we worked with and know that Washington County will be led well far into the future.”
A panel discussion, which included Cline, Ginn, McDowell, and Range’s Randi Ferriera alongside several business leaders, gave attendees a chance to swap ideas and opinions on leadership, adversity and opportunity. Range’s Christina Kramer and Kylie Sanders acted out a mock interview to teach the students the ins and outs of acing a job interview.
“It’s important for young women to be prepared for a job interview because being prepared naturally brings confidence,” said Sanders. “Many young women tend to lack in confidence, so taking those few minutes to be extra prepared can make all the difference.”
Carole DeAngelo, last year’s Athena Leadership Award winner, led an activity aimed at teaching the students how to successfully network to make valuable professional connections. They had the chance to implement some of these new networking skills as the workshop concluded with an interactive round table lunch with the business professionals who attended.
The Junior ATHENA workshop brought together numerous remarkable female community leaders and promising young ladies for a day of inspiration and guidance. Range and POWER hope to continue hosting this exciting workshop for many years to come.