Not everyone can be all-school president or captain of the basketball team, but the beauty of being a small school is that every student does have ample opportunity to develop and experience leadership. Being a dorm prefect, running a school club, giving school tours for Admissions, sitting on the Student Judiciary Board - just a few of the ways our girls learn what it takes to manage a group of people and have responsibility for accomplishing a predetermined goal.
It is a wonderful transformation to behold when a student uncovers something they care about and steps up to lead. One such catalyst to this transformation is Oldfields' participation in a wonderful local organization called The Baltimore Girls' School Leadership Coalition (BGSLC).
BGSLC meets monthly and is comprised of six area girls' schools (Oldfields, Bryn Mawr, Garrison Forest, Roland Park Country, St. Timothy's, and St. Paul's School for Girls). The program is designed to help promote leadership skills in young women who apply for the opportunity to be part of this group The Deans of Students from each school run the program with the help of select BGSLC alumnae who share their career expertise and networking skills in forums throughout the year.
Each month these girls look forward to the opportunity to interact with one another as young leaders in their communities in hopes of gaining understanding and strategies that they will put to work as leaders on their own campuses.
This year topics have included female empowerment beyond the media, equality in the work place, resume and interview preparation, and social justice. The insights born of these challenging discussions are thought-provoking for all involved. The members pride themselves on all ideas and opinions being openly received and considered. The level of respect that these 60 young women have for each other is something from which everyone could learn.
The BGSLC calendar culminates with an overnight retreat with each dean bringing a specific focal point for discussion. This year's retreat centered around strength in unity and the strength to be found through our differences. The girls took part in The Unity Project where they were able to visibly make connections with each other incorporating their differing backgrounds and beliefs.
Another highlight of the retreat was the chance to interact with former Mayor of Baltimore, Stephanie Rawlings Blake. Blake enhanced the evening as the retreat's keynote speaker. She offered the girls advice, discussed her personal experiences, and shared hopeful vision for the future.Meeting a woman like Stephanie Blake is something that will remain with these girls for a lifetime. The retreat came to a close the following day with a morning dedicated to self-defense training and community service projects.
The 2017-2018 BGSLC program was one of the most memorable for all involved. It culminated with Oldfields hosting the last meeting in The George Nevens Library. Our girls took so much pride in showing the other girls our campus and running the meeting. We can't wait to continue making this coalition even more visible on each of our campuses and impactful in the world in which these girls are growing up.