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LeaderU, a leadership summit sponsored by Girl Talk and the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility was on July 16-18 in Washington DC.

“It’s not every day you see something like this. Something so transformative and inspiring. It’s why I believe in opportunities like LeaderU,” said Haley Kilpatrick, Founder of Girl Talk, Inc.

This past week, 100 high school girls flocked to Washington, DC for a once in a lifetime opportunity that created a chance to connect with other aspiring girl leaders across the country.

“Most leadership opportunities are based on academics, athletics or just simply too expensive, a lot of girls fall through the cracks,” Kilpatrick said. “We need to foster these girls’ aspirations while they’re young. Show them that anything is possible.”

The 2014 LeaderU Summit hosted at American University, took girls from all walks of life and gave them the opportunity to hear from a variety of women leaders in the DC, area. The three keynote speakers during their time at American University were Jenna Golden, part of the political and advocacy sales team at Twitter; Monisha Kapila Founder and CEO of ProInspire, a recruiting and training agency for non-profit leaders; and Blueprint Communications partner and accomplished journalist Lisa Camooso Miller. The women spoke about their high school experience and how it has translated into their accomplished careers today. They explained how being a mentor, having mentors and being a leader are all necessary for success.

The girls spent the last day of the summit on Capitol Hill hearing from a panel of accomplished women about leadership and what kind of values they’re looking for in the next generation of women leaders.

The panel included former Congresswoman and current Administrator of the Saint Lawrence Seaway Developement Corporation (SLSDC) Betty Sutton, Administrator of the United States Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Anne Ferro, German news producer Charlotte Potts, Director of Democratic Women's Alliance Kate Houghton and Director of Dance Programming at Kennedy Center Meg Booth.

The panel explained their past experience and why they believed in women leadership so strongly. They also answered insightful questions from the girls about reaching goals and why surrounding yourself with positive friends is so crucial to grow into the best woman you can be.

The day on Capitol Hill started with a video message from 9 women Members of Congress. They spoke directly to summit attendees about the importance of the work the attendees were doing as growing women to become the next generation of leaders. Watch it here!

Because of organizations like Girl Talk, young women around the country are being inspired to make smart, sound decisions. We are proud to support Girl Talk, and we’re grateful for the powerful work the organization continues to do in helping our nation’s youth become confident women. High School and Middle School can be a difficult time for kids, have you had a conversation about saying no to underage drinking with your young teen?