What does it take to succeed as a young leader today? Three outstanding Maryville College students had the opportunity to explore that question this year, and on Sept. 16, they’ll share some of what they’ve learned with the community.

Kirksey Croft, Bronte Taylor and Maria Vanegas traveled to the National Conference for College Women Student Leaders, supported by scholarships provided by the Women’s Equity Foundation.

Croft, Taylor and Vanegas will speak at a reception hosted by the Maryville branch of the American Association of University women starting at 5:30 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 16, in the Proffitt Dining Room on the MC campus. Refreshments will be served, including vegan options.

The three women are working for positive change on their campus, in their communities and in the world, and that inspiring work motivated their professors to nominate them for the honor. Now, you’ll get to hear about their work and their inspiration, as well as the lessons they bring back from the conference.

“We are so excited to hear the powerful voices of these college leaders,” said Jennifer Spirko, branch president of the AAUW. “I can’t wait to celebrate them and learn from them.”

The Women’s Equity Foundation is the nonprofit fiscal agent of the Maryville branch of the AAUW, supporting their mission to “advance equity for women and girls through advocacy, education, philanthropy and research.” The conference scholarships are an important annual part of that mission, but it is rare to have three candidates.

“We worked hard at fundraising over the past year, and that enabled the WEF to sponsor all three of the excellent candidates,” Spirko said, “which is good, because it would have been too hard to choose just one!”

Other projects funded by the WEF include contributing support for a tutor at the Blount County Freedom School earlier this summer and underwriting a popular Women’s History Month program, “Women’s Words, Girls’ Voices,” in March.

The AAUW Maryville branch has a long history with Maryville College, because it was founded in 1942 by Margaret Bell Lloyd, the wife of the college president. Today, the branch meets most months – on the third Monday – on campus. The public is invited to meetings, as well as to programs like this one.

For more information about this celebration of college women leaders or about the AAUW, visit the website (http://maryville-tn.aauw.net) or follow the Maryville branch of the AAUW on Facebook.

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