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DGS hosts second annual Student Leadership Conference

Posted on: 08/03/2018

On Wednesday 7th March, Didcot Girls’ School held its second annual Student Leadership Conference. Themed Journeys, the conference gave our students the opportunity to hear about the professional and personal journeys of three phenomenally successful women.

 Suzie de Rohan Willner, CEO of TOAST, spoke passionately about to our students about the value of having a vision for themselves even from a very young age and of developing a sense of who they are as people. Her own story of success, studded with many obstacles and challenges showed her resilience and determination. What our students loved most about her message was that leadership and compassion should never be mutually exclusive. When Suzie hires staff for her high performing team, she wants people who exude positivity – people who empower each other.

Our second guest speaker was Amanda Hassell, former Chief of Staff of the Army Sports Board, with a rich background of truly global experiences. Amanda's journey as a woman in the Armed Forces was a testing one, but she loves a challenge. Our students looked rightly amazed by her descriptions of a 24 hour canoeing challenge across the Thames!

Finally, we heard from Dr Jo Rhodes, a scientist at Imperial College, London, who studies patterns in pathogens and DNA. Jo's talk was mesmerizing. Her contributions to the world of science and disease prevention are inspiring. She was an international driving force behind the study of diseases such as Ebola and Zika. We spoke to several students later who were motivated by her line of work and wanted to explore it further.

A special mention must go to the Ethos Leaders, the Year 10 Deputy House Captains and the Sixth Form Executive Team. Their presentations were of an exceptional standard and there was warmth and sincerity in their words. We were also delighted to be joined by students from Marlborough School, Cherwell School and St Gabriel's School at the conference.  

 During what turned out to be an incredibly stimulating and inspirational conference, our students also designed their own Press for Progress manifestos for international Women's Day. Their ideas, which they shared with everyone else in the hall, were a crucial reminder that our next generation of women will expect more, want more and have more.

Please follow our update on Twitter for more news and updates about the conference!

And finally, don’t forget to ask yourselves and others around you today – how will you press for progress in 2018?

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