Marquette principal Allyson Headd and athletic director Katie Collignon spent time this past Wednesday serving as guest speakers at the LaPorte County Career and Technical Education Center's 5th Annual Nontraditional Employment for Women (N.E.W.) Opportunities Workshop.
200 8th-grade girls from LaPorte County spent the day at the AK Smith Career Center in Michigan City to learn about career options, listen to presenters, and be encouraged to work towards their goals.
And while Headd and Collignon took different routes to West 10th Street, their overall message was on the same path: get involved, work hard, and pursue your passion.
"It's not often that we have the opportunity to discuss our individual paths and use that to help engage and motivate young girls of today. I feel very fortunate to be a part of an event that continues to empower women in our region,'' Collignon said.
Following a brief guest speaker, the girls broke into small groups to attend roundtable discussions led by female professionals. Amongst the group were dentists, detectives, lawyers, risk consultants, and engineers.
Headd, who hails from upstate New York, is a product of Catholic education. Marquette hired her directly out of St. Mary's College in South Bend. She rose from teacher to assistant principal before taking over as principal in the spring of 2018.
Originally from suburban Detroit, Collignon possesses experience in a variety of environments. She's worked in business as an accountant. She oversaw multiple fitness facilities in New Jersey. She coached college basketball. She even enjoyed 15 minutes of fame as a personal trainer on an MTV reality show.
What Headd and Collignon are hoping the 200 girls in attendance walked away with is a sense of confidence and aspiration.
It was a great opportunity to speak to young girls in our area and to empower them to follow their dreams. We had a very eclectic group of strong female leaders in their respective industries which will hopefully serve as inspiration for the next generation," Headd remarked.