2024 Women’s Leadership Week

Young Women's Advocacy Summit

By Ella '24

Our Notre Dame community prides itself on its core values of women’s justice, leadership, advocacy and service through our academic programs, projects and events. Students are given many opportunities to showcase their growth and achievements in applying these values throughout their time at ND, whether through our service fairs or academic presentations like the Praxis Project. However, two experiences are momentous in an ND student’s high school career: the freshman Woman’s Place Project (WPP) and the senior Young Women’s Advocacy Summit (YWAS). We were proud to host these two experiences in March as a part of ND’s annual Women’s Leadership Week. 

The week began with the freshmen’s WPP where students extensively researched the lives of remarkable women, whether historical figures or contemporary icons, by exploring their contributions to service and justice. Their research then culminated in tangible plates decorated with symbols and mementos representing their chosen woman's experiences. The class then came together in Julie Billiart Hall where their plates were proudly presented at multiple rows of tables. Joined by members of our San Jose community, participants shared and engaged with these inspiring projects.

Concluding the week was the seniors’ YWAS, culminating in a year-long experience dedicated to creating positive change. Seniors selected social justice issues they aligned with, such as animal rights or food insecurity, and collaborated extensively with organizations to address these pressing concerns. At YWAS, they convened for panel discussions, sharing reflections on their service experiences with parents and community members. Symbolically, as the event drew to a close, seniors took their place at the tables where the WPP projects had stood earlier in the week, signifying their transition into Women of Impact and their enduring presence at their table.