Monthly Archives: July 2016

Friday wrap-up!

ALS7-15   JRNY7-15

Our last full day onsite was a little bit emotional. We’re always sad when the week comes to a close, but we’re also so excited for the delegates to take what they’ve learned back to their communities.

Journey started the day with their final workshop, Power and Purpose, taught by staffers Diane D’Costa and Devan Ogburn. They defined power and differentiated between the different types of power as well as learning about the relationship between gender and power. They began developing a personal sense of purpose and determined how their individual and collective power can be used to further that purpose. Ask your daughter about the different types of power and what her personal purpose is! It was a fantastic final workshop.

After debriefing their presentation to the Women’s Giving Circle, the girls had a wonderful time playing games like Starstruck and MLW Madness. Ask your daughter to show you her best fierce Beyonce pose! Guest facilitator Tyson Glover then facilitated a seminar on Masculinity, to give the girls a larger context for their new feminism knowledge. They acted as marketing executives and looked at portrayals of masculinity in advertising and the media. It was a fascinating way for the girls to wrap up the Journey curriculum.

In the morning, ALS delegates attended their final workshop, led by director Mehran Hossaini. Most of the day, however, was focused on the Practicum and their upcoming presentation. If you weren’t able to tune into the live stream, be sure to ask your child what his/her role in the presentation was. It went very smoothly and it was amazing to see how far the delegates came in just one week together. This was an outstanding class of ALS delegates and we cannot wait to see what changes they create in their communities!

We hope all our delegates will stay in touch with one another and with their staffers. Keep us updated on all of the incredible things you’re doing!

Wednesday and Thursday Wrap-Up!

Journey7-14  ALS 7-14

Wednesday and Thursday onsite are always busy. Here are a few highlights for both programs!

ALS had two workshops on Wednesday. Staffer Danny Gonzalez led Relationship Optimization, followed by Pathways with staffer Libby Norford and former ALS director Stephanie Barnes. In Pathways delegates identified their sources of motivation and linked motivation to intention and telos/purpose. Ask your child what his/her telos is!They also played group games and continued to work diligently on their practicum project.

On Thursday, delegates had a workshop and a seminar. Staffer Bryana “Fergie” Ferguson and former ALS staffer Bryan Coble led The Art of Finesse, where delegates learned to deal with unpredictability. Former ALS staffer Jason Israel and guest facilitator Teague Hopkins then led Stress Testing Your Teamwork, where delegates played Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes, a cooperative video game. Learn more at: Ask your child what he/she learned about working in groups under pressure! At night delegates put on a showcase of their talents.

Journey girls went to a Diversity workshop on Wednesday morning. Staffers Diane D’Costa and Reva Alperson introduced the idea of intersectionality and had delegates connect the concept of feminism to their personal experiences. They explored the diversity of their group and how they experience their identities. The girls worked on their Capstone as well as starting a Community Project, where they chose five women from Howard County to honor with awards. Ask your daughter which award she worked on!

Thursday started out with a Gender Dynamics workshop, led by staffers Alexya Brown and Reva Alperson. The girls learned about group roles, sexism, and using reactions to reduce conflict. In the evening the Women’s Giving Circle visited campus to see the girls present their Capstone and Community Projects. They did a fantastic job presenting their hard work! Ask your daughter about the Capstone project and the presentation! They then enjoyed dinner with the representatives of the Women’s Giving Circle before putting on a Talent/Fashion Show.

We can’t believe tomorrow is our last full day–the week is going by so quickly!

Stay tuned!

Stay tuned for a special Wednesday/Thursday double edition of our blog! We’ll report on Wednesday’s “Falent” show by the Journey girls (Falent = Fashion + Talent) as well as “War Night” for ALS.

Tuesday at ALS and Journey


What an exciting day for both of our programs!

The Journey girls took a field trip to Echo Hill Outdoor School for a full day of group development and confidence building. Girls got to climb the wall, zip line, and ride on the giant swing! They belayed, spotted, and supported one another while challenging themselves. Learn more at

When the girls got back, it was time for tuning. Tuning is a time when small groups of delegates meet with staffers and work on personal goal setting and small group bonding. They play games, process through the workshop content, and support one another as they work towards their goals. Ask your daughter which tuning group she is in! (AKA which tuning group is the best!)

The girls attended a seminar on Fear, Failure, and Resiliency after dinner. Led by former MSEL director Nia Calhoun, the girls talked about adaptability and practiced resiliency before moving into Capstone time.

ALS delegates traveled to DC to visit the National Youth Baseball Academy, the organization they are partnering with for their Practicum project. The visit was a huge success. Delegates met with Zack Jamison, Manager of Curriculum and Instruction at the National Youth Baseball Academy and former ALS and SHW director! They also had a panel discussion with students in the program and ate lunch with summer participants. Their experience at the program is going to be instrumental as they move forward with planning their Practicum project. Ask your child what his/her favorite part of the trip was!

After their Academy site visit, it was time for tuning. Tuning is a time when small groups of delegates meet with staffers and work on personal goal setting and small group bonding. They play games, process through the workshop content, and support one another as they work towards their goals. Ask your child about his/her tuning partner!

After dinner, ALS Staffer and MLW Program Committee Chair Sterling Grimes led the delegates through a seminar on Interviewing and Branding, two very important topics for young leaders in high school. It was a full day for both programs!

First Full Day of MLW 2016!

ALS 7-11  Journey 7-11Young leaders from across the state of Maryland arrived at Washington College yesterday to participate in a week of fun, learning, and leadership. The MLW staff have been developing the programs for months and they could barely contain their excitement as they finally saw their delegates in person during registration.

Moments after their parents left, delegates began learning one another’s names and playing silly games, setting up a group bond that will allow them to step outside their comfort zones and practice their leadership skills as well as have an amazing time.

The two programs onsite this week are Journey and Advanced Leadership Seminar (ALS), both boutique programs that have been specifically designed for this particular group of participants.


ALS is a program for advanced young leaders, most of whom have attended MLW’s Senior High Workshop. We have 22 delegates in this year’s cohort. This program is directed by second-year director Mehran Hossaini.

Sunday at ALS started with get-to-know games, a campus tour, and the theme reveal (Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief is this year’s theme!), before diving into a Public Speaking Seminar, led by former Senior High Workshop director Annie Coble. Delegates prepared “POP speeches” before coming to site, so having a public speaking workshop right off the bat sets them up for success as they will share their POP speeches with one another throughout the week. Ask your child to share his/her POP speech to see their public speaking growth!

Sunday continued with the first session of Practicum, where delegates get the opportunity to implement their leadership skills in a real world project. This year’s ALS delegates will create a curriculum guide and plans that will provide Washington Nationals Youth Baseball Academy participants with leadership skills. The curriculum will be used for a half-day session during an instructive afterschool program. Later this week, ALS delegates will travel to DC to visit the Academy! You can learn more about the Washington Nationals Youth Baseball Academy here:

On Monday, ALS delegates attended their first workshop, titled You Are The Sum Of What? This workshop was facilitated by MLW Professional Development Director Michael Burgan and Program Committee chair Sterling Grimes. Delegates created “Webs of Life,” where they made maps of the experiences, interests, and people that have influenced their lives and contexts. Ask your child to share his/her Web of Life with you! Delegates also got an opportunity to learn more about effective use of social media in a seminar led by former Senior High Workshops director Dustin Jeter. These are just two of the many highlights from the jam-packed day.


Journey is a program specifically for middle school girls from Howard County, and support for Journey has been provided by The Women’s Giving Circle, a fund of the Howard County Community Foundation. There are 27 Journey girls this year and the program is directed by Howard County native Jessica Qiu! This year’s Journey theme is Journey Jungle.

Sunday at Journey started with get-to-know games like Mingle Mingle, allowing the girls to learn each other’s names before diving into curriculum. The first workshop was Project Planning, setting the girls up for success as they are going to be planning and implementing quite a few projects this week! Veteran MLW staff member Devan Ogburn and former ALS director Stephanie Barnes taught the girls about SMART goals, contingency planning, troubleshooting, and project planning, implementation, and evaluation. Ask your daughter what the SMART in SMART goals stands for, and what PPIE stands for.

Program Committee member Olivia Keithley then led a seminar entitled What is Leadership? What is Feminism? Delegates looked at a timeline of historical events affecting women as well as different statistics about equality and women in leadership roles around the world. This workshop laid the groundwork for a lot of the curriculum the girls will be experiencing this week.

On Monday the girls attended a Self Awareness workshop, led by staffer Alexya Brown and director Jessica Qiu. They identified their personal leadership styles as well as their strengths, hopes, and dreams. Ask your child whether her leadership style is a D, I, S, C, or a combination! They then went into group meeting, where they played games and had a blast, furthering the group bond.

Monday afternoon they started their Capstone Project, which is the opportunity for the girls to implement the leadership skills they are learning throughout the week. They are tasked with planning a day-long leadership/empowerment conference for middle school girls. They will present their plans to the Women’s Giving Circle on Thursday of this week! They then attended Filter This!, a workshop led by staffers Devan Ogburn and Kimmy Bailey. Delegates analyzed the portrayal of women in the media, evaluated the role of social media in their lives, and discussed the outcomes of social media presence. Ask your daughter to share her #likeagirl tweet.

The girls closed the night out with Zumba, a high-energy dance fitness class combining Latin and International dance music. They’re off to bed soon: they need a good night’s sleep before tomorrow’s big day at Echo Hill!