Girls’ Empowerment Network Expands Annual We Are Girls Conference to Houston in November 2015

Girls’ Empowerment Network Expands Annual We Are Girls Conference to Houston in November 2015

Names Leslie Goode-Williams Houston conference manager

AUSTIN, Texas – JULY 2015 – The Girls Empowerment Network today announced it will expand its eighth annual conference known as WE ARE GIRLS to Houston in November 2015. Since 2008, WE ARE GIRLS has become a highly anticipated one-day event for girls in grades 3 through 8 and the adults who care about them. Its 2015 theme is TELL YOUR STORY, bringing together inspiring speakers and dozens of activities and workshops covering everything from creativity and entrepreneurship to body image, bullying, and healthy relationships.

WE ARE GIRLS – TELL YOUR STORY will be held Sat., November 14, 2015 at Young Women’s College Preparatory Academy, 1906 Cleburne St., Houston, Texas, 77004, from 9 a.m.  – 3 p.m.  Houston’s featured speakers include Karen Walrond, a Houston-based writer, photographer and author of the best-selling book, The Beauty of Different.  Her writing, images and other projects have been featured on, USA Today, Good Housekeeping and Wondertime magazines. She is also the creative mind behind the award-winning website, Chookooloonks, an inspirational source for living with intention, creativity and adventure, and featuring travel, art, food and life.  

In Austin, WE ARE GIRLS will be held Sat., November 14, 2015 at Austin High School, 1715 W Cesar Chavez St, Austin, Texas, 78703, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. Doors open at 8 a.m. for both events.

When expanding its event to Houston, Girls Empowerment Network also named Leslie Goode-Williams as its Houston Conference Coordinator. Goode-Williams will lead the organization’s efforts to recruit volunteers, speakers and presenters for the Houston event, in coordination with its host site, the Young Women’s College Preparatory Academy.  Williams brings more than 10 years of experience in the event planning industry and the nonprofit community, including Houston Museum of Natural Science, where she was director of special events. Leslie is a graduate of the United Way’s Project Blue Print Board Leadership and Development Program (Class XXXI), a member of the Rotary Club’s Group Study Exchange Team to Brazil, and founder of Girlfriends’ Getaway Women’s Movement, a faith-based conference primarily for adult women. She holds a B.A. in Communications from Dillard University.

“As an adult, I can look back and appreciate the influence and wisdom from the women in my life as a girl and young woman,” Goode-Williams says. “Because the women in my life took the time to invest in me as a child, I want to invest in the lives of my nieces, my daughter and every young girl that I come in contact with.  That’s what I love about Girls Empowerment Network.  We Are Girls empowers and pours wisdom into the lives of young girls so that they too can make positive life decisions.”

“Leslie’s enthusiasm for inspiring and empowering girls combined with her event planning experience make her a tremendous asset to our team at Girls Empowerment Network,” says Julia Cuba, Executive Director, Girls Empowerment Network. “After seven successful years in Austin, we are incredibly excited to bring this unique program and opportunity to girls in Houston, too.”

“Young Women’s College Preparatory Academy is proud to host the first WE ARE GIRLS conference in Houston,” says Delesa O’Dell-Thomas, principal of Young Women College Preparatory Academy. “We look forward to partnering with the Girls Empowerment Network in bringing the empowerment event to the Houston area.”

Tickets for WE ARE GIRLS – TELL YOUR STORY are $30 and are available for purchase online for events in both Houston and Austin. Scholarships are available. Admission includes lunch and access to all presentations, breakout workshops and the resource fair. Complementary day care for children ages 3 – 7 is available.

About Girls Empowerment Network

Through after-school clubs, programs and community workshops for girls and parents, the Girls Empowerment Network supports and guides girls to make wise choices as they navigate the unique pressures of girlhood. Its We Are Girls Conference is an annual statewide event designed especially for girls in grades 3-8 and the adults who care about them. Now in its 8th year, its 2015 theme is “Tell Your Story,” featuring skill-building workshops and dynamic presentations that connect girls to relatable role models and encourage healthy relationships, educational discovery, and creative self-expression. Learn more at


In 2011, the Houston Independent School District opened the Young Women’s College Preparatory Academy in partnership with the Young Women’s Preparatory Network (formerly the Foundation for the Education of Young Women). The Young Women’s Preparatory Network has opened six other schools in Texas that are recognized as offering the most distinctive high school leadership programs in the nation. Located at 1906 Cleburne St. near the Texas Medical Center, the Museum District, the University of Houston, Texas Southern University, and Rice University, Young Women’s College Preparatory Academy opened with grades 6 and 9.  In 2012, the campus added grades 7 and 10, grades 8 and 11 were added in 2013. In 2015 YWCPA graduated its first class of seniors, achieving 100 percent high school graduation rate and 100 percent college acceptance rate for its 44 graduates.  2015 graduates were awarded of $5.8 million in academic and merit scholarships.

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Vanessa Wright