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On November 7, 2020, I felt like my world stood still. I watched as America celebrated the election of a new President. However, my celebration was not just because of a new President, but the Vice President-Elect, Kamala Harris. When they called her name, I watched this statuesque woman dressed in an ivory suit with shoulder length coils and brown skin walk the blue carpet to the podium that faced a nation that had been previously divided months ago. She stood there not as just the Vice President-Elect, but a symbol of hope, shattered glass ceilings and belief in our nation for change.
Senator Harris is a rare, bold and versatile leader. She exudes confidence and scholarship that provides and example to our scholars at Ivy. As we work daily with our scholars, we ensure sisterhood is at the helm of our culture. Lifting our sisters up and ensuring they are well are the heart of our scholars and staff. As January 20, 2021, approaches, we will stand as sisters watching, Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris sworn in as the 49th Vice President of the United States of America. We stand boldly as a rare and versatile woman of color becomes the second in command of the free nation. Kamala Harris, the pearl that we all hope and wish to emulate will be the face and the purpose of every scholar at Ivy Prep Academy.
Recently, I read a study that was provided by the National Coalition of Girls’ Schools entitled, Barriers and Bias: The Status of Women in Leadership. The American Association of University Women examines the environment in which leadership unfolds—in the classroom, in the workplace, and in politics. The academic and popular literature on women’s leadership continuously growing.
Within this article, it identifies key issues for creating lasting change, focusing on four questions: What is the gender leadership gap? What explains it? What strategies have already helped narrow the leadership gap? And what can we do about it now?
As we continue to educate our scholars at Ivy, we are creating confidence in our scholars that leads to empowerment through our voices. This helps narrow the gender leadership gap by providing opportunities within the school, girls are the ONLY leaders in the building. We provide etiquette lessons that help with projecting our scholars’ voices in a way that allows everyone to hear and understand them. Often times, girls in our current society, have challenges with communicating themselves. Yet, at Ivy, we teach them it is important to be seen and heard but in the Ivy Way. The Ivy Way teaches our scholars to be professional, engaged, responsible and show perseverance in everything they do.
Girls want to be leaders. This is one of the many things I have seen in my 25 years of educating students. Girls take charge and are often times misunderstood because of their tenacity or assertiveness. However, their experiences have shaped them to be more forceful due to the mounds of trauma that occurred before they were even born. Yet, we must continue to teach them how to be leaders and not just allow their dreams to fall into the wind. We must get them off the sidelines and teach them how to lead with the goal of changing their thoughts into reality. Senator Harris has now become the example of what our girls can and will become. She gives credence to what we believe in at Ivy, sisterhood, scholarship and service.