Several Matoaca High School students were recently selected to participate in Capital One’s Future Leaders Forum for Young Women. These young women had an...

Several Matoaca High School students were recently selected to participate in Capital One’s Future Leaders Forum for Young Women. These young women had an exciting opportunity to network with young women from across the area, work with mentors to build leadership skills, and participate in interactive activities throughout the day.

Speakers specifically chosen to highlight this year’s theme of Believe in Yourself and You Can do Unbelievable Things, were: Valerie Rozycki Wagoner, Founder and CEO of ZipDial and Senior Director of Growth Markets at Twitter; Denise Gaus Kasper, Executive Coach at Capital One; and Courtney Ferrell, Change Agent and Creative Consultant to top executives of some of the most widely known businesses in the country.

The forum, bringing together some 320 high school girls included a round-table discussion, panel speakers, and crowd participation. Madyson Fitzgerald, a Matoaca freshman, spoke emotionally about the impact of being surrounded by other like-minded teens. “It may sound corny, but it felt good to be surrounded by all that girl power. It showed me how important it was for me to realize that my gender didn’t define my destiny.” Kandis Spratley, another freshman, agreed, saying, “This was a life-changing event. One of the presenters put words to my story of bullying earlier in life.

The confidence I lost, I felt I was able to gain back while I sat there listening to how she overcame her own struggle and became a coach to CEOs in big business!” This Capital One event is offered each year in the spring, and is open to young ladies in grades nine through 12.