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Junior Achievement of the Eastern Shore Welcomes Nearly 100 High School Girls At Inaugural Leading Ladies Event

Eastern Shore, MD – Junior Achievement of the Eastern Shore hosted its inaugural Leading Ladies event at the Hyatt Regency in Cambridge on Thursday, Feb. 21, welcoming nearly 100 high school students from the Dorchester and Talbot area.

Leading Ladies partners young ladies with professional working women for one afternoon to share meaningful dialogue and identify and strengthen their personal brand. This year’s event housed an accomplished group of mentors and five highly successful, extremely driven panelists who spoke about challenges and opportunities young women face.

“Leading Ladies is all about building a strong foundation for these young women,” said Jayme Hayes, president of Junior Achievement of the Eastern Shore. “These students had the opportunity to ask questions and learn from some of the most intelligent, passionate and accomplished women in our area. We could not have asked for a better event!”

Imani Black, founder and CEO of Minorities In Aquaculture, served as a panelist and the event’s keynote speaker. Black is also an oyster farmer and is pursuing her Master’s degree at the University of Maryland’s Center for Environmental Science, researching the historical minority engagement in commercial fisheries in the Chesapeake Bay.

Ashley Harris and Alicia Boyd, co-owners of Humble Hearts Catering & Events, Brie Wooden, a client support specialist at Tred Avon Family Wealth, and Renee Sheehy, Government and External Affairs manager at Delmarva Power, also made up the panel. Wye Financial Partners Senior Vice President Talli Oxnam served as moderator.

Students from Cambridge-South Dorchester, North Dorchester, Easton High School  and St. Michaels in Grades 10 and 11 made up the afternoon’s attendees. Students were selected by their guidance counselors.

The event celebrated the power of women at various ages and stages of life through presentations, table discussion and Q&A sessions while sharing a meal. Leading Ladies stays true to the hands-on JA philosophy of providing real-world experiences that help fuel aspirations while planning their  futures.

“The connections made here can help open so many doors for these students,” Hayes said. “We hope the young ladies were inspired by these amazing women and can now apply what they learned as they go forward in their lives.”

To learn more about the event and Junior Achievement, visit

About Junior Achievement of the Eastern Shore

Junior Achievement of the Eastern Shore is a non-profit organization dedicated to educating youth, grades K-12 both public and private, on financial literacy, work readiness, and entrepreneurship.  Our hands-on, age-appropriate programs inspire youth to live within their means, prepare for the world of work and understand the free enterprise system. We are an enhancement to what kids learn in school and a direct link to real-life applications, making school relevant and increasing students’ engagement in the classroom.

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