The Girls Summer Leadership Program calls upon Dana Hall's own "resident experts" to help develop the program curriculum and also to mentor the participants during the week of the program.
The High School Mentors are current 11th and 12th grade student leaders who have been significantly involved in leadership, diversity and/or service at Dana Hall and elsewhere.
GSLP High School Mentors Name:
Hometown: Wilmington, Mass.
Why Ruthie thinks that GSLP is an important program: “When I started high school, I felt a little lost. I wasn’t sure what to expect about classes and workload, or friends and social scene. I wish there had been somebody to show me the ropes, explain what to expect, and guide me in a way that eased my anxiety about starting school. GSLP is so important because it provides that mentorship from current high school students and GSLP alumnae who have been through this program as well.” Name:
Christina '18, GSLP '14
Hometown: Natick, Mass.
Christina’s leadership style: “One of my main leadership strengths is being inclusive and aware of others’ feelings. I lead best by talking to people who seem left out. I know what it is like to be on that side the equation, and I am aware it is a sensitive topic. I'm very skilled with one on one attention.” Name:
Hometown: Westwood, Mass.
Why Steph thinks that GSLP is an important program: “The Girls Summer Leadership Program is important in helping young girls develop confidence and leadership skills to prepare them for the transition from middle school to high school, which can prove to be a difficult journey. Starting off in any school, it can be hard to find your voice as an individual, and being able to share your own opinions confidently is key to succeeding in high school. GSLP helps girls develop solid leadership skills so that they will be prepared for the choices, opportunities, and situations that they may encounter in high school and beyond. I've learned through my own experience at Dana how important it is to be a self-advocate; instilling that in girls sets them up for their lives in high school and beyond. It is also great to kick off the summer bonding with girls who are going through the same transition that you are, sharing common concerns, goals, and questions about high school. Having the opportunity to create lasting friendships while honing your leadership skills, and building confidence is rare, and that is what makes GSLP a fun, necessary, and important program.”Name:
C.C. '18, GSLP '14
Hometown: Holliston, Mass.
C.C.’s leadership style: “I would describe my leadership style as strong and present. I am usually the one to take the group under my wing and mentor them to success. I try my best to get all members of a group involved as well as help them discover things about themselves along the way. I am also comfortable with listening to others as they take charge. I always try to create a healthy environment for all the people in the group to work effectively and in an orderly fashion." Name:
Deena '18, GSLP '14
Hometown: Wellesley, Mass.
How Deena’s own GSLP experience impacted her:
“Going through GSLP helped me grow as a leader in a way I am not sure I ever would have without the program. At GSLP I learned a lot of new communication, leadership and organization skills, and further developed the skills I already possessed. Going into the program I was very nervous. At GSLP I was meeting so many new girls. In the short time that we were there I grew so much, and watched girls become strong leaders over the course of the week. This may not seem like a big thing, but for me it was a very transformative time learning how to approach new people in a new situation. During my first three years at Dana, I had grown very comfortable with everyone and did not put myself in situations where I was meeting new people my age very often. After GSLP I was more comfortable approaching new girls on the first day of school, and had an easier time transitioning into our new grade that was now doubled. At GSLP I also made many close friends (I still talk to some of the girls who went to the program who do not attend Dana). From my experience at GSLP I know how important and fun this program is and so I would love to be a part of helping the girls through this same process of growth.” Name:
Naomi '18, GSLP '14
Hometown: Dorchester, Mass.
How Naomi’s own GSLP experience impacted her:
“I attended GSLP in the summer of 2014 and really enjoyed it. I learned about who I wanted to be in high school and what role I wanted to take in the Dana Hall community. This program provided me the space to set some future goals for myself and to write out the steps I needed to take to get there. It really helped me to visualize and plan where I wanted to end up. Because of the goals I set for myself of wanting to be a leader in Dana, I ran for Boarding Representative in my freshman year. I was part of Blue Key and now, I am currently one of the heads of SHADES. I also had the privilege of volunteering at Boston Children's Hospital this past summer. My experiences have given me opportunities to solve problems, speak out and create a space where others can speak as well. GSLP gave me the opportunities to meet the most incredible people who I am still friends with. GSLP was such a warm, friendly environment for me and I want to be part of creating that environment for girls attending this program."
Name: McKenna '17 Name:
Hometown: Wellesley, Mass.
What McKenna wishes she knew then:
"One thing that I’ve learned in high school that I wish I knew in 8th grade is that there is no set style for leadership, that different people can be leaders in different ways. When I was younger, I thought that there was only one clear style of leadership: the strong-willed and outspoken person. But as I’ve gotten older, I think my view of leadership has definitely changed. A leader might not always be the loudest or most outspoken person in the classroom, but the person who has something important to say and has the courage to say it. You don’t have to be a particularly vocal or involved leader, but you can be a leader by simply being respected and speaking up when it truly counts."
Hometown: Chestnut Hill, Mass.
Why diversity, of Dana Hall’s four pillars, is important to Jane:
“I think that diversity is a very significant aspect of Dana Hall because the diverse community that surrounds Dana shapes who it is. I am a member of both SALAM and Kesher and have enjoyed learning about different religions and cultures. One very cool, unique thing about Dana Hall is how it is half boarding and half day. It is really neat to see the number of international students who are sometimes 15-20 hours away from home. I have created new friendships and bonds with girls whose first language is not English. Diversity is incorporated in all aspects of life at Dana and that’s what makes it so special.” Name:
Sydney '17, GSLP '13
Hometown: North Falmouth, Mass.
Why Sydney thinks that GSLP is an important program: “Transitioning to high school is, for many students, like jumping into the unknown. It’s a new educational environment with new teachers, new expectations, and often new classmates. While it is not a simple transition, it can be made easier if one has the right tools. The Girls Summer Leadership Program does a great job at providing such tools to rising freshmen girls; by helping to build participants’ leadership skills and self-confidence, GSLP provides girls with the ability to go through the transition with a positive mindset and with the confidence to dive right into the opportunities that high school has to offer. In addition, I believe GSLP is an important program because it introduces its participants to networking, which is a significant aspect of high school and beyond. Learning how to make connections and speak with adults one does not know is important in order to be confident when one faces these experiences in high school, college, and the workforce." Name:
Ryland '18, GSLP '14
Hometown: Edgecomb, Maine
How Ryland’s own GSLP experience impacted her:
“The primary reason for my wanting to help with GSLP is my own GSLP experience. It was incredible to be in an environment tailored to my needs as a rising female freshman in high school. I feel a great commitment to the notion of leaving a place better that I found it, and am excited to put this into practice with GSLP. The summer after I did GSLP I attended a program at the Eleanor Roosevelt center called Girls' Leadership Worldwide that reaffirmed in my mind how valuable girls’ leadership is. Last year, I was on the Global Youth Advisory Council for the Representation Project and helped them develop their youth outreach as well as their leadership summit in San Francisco. Now, I am at the School for Ethics and Leadership which is basically 15 weeks of advanced GSLP. I am becoming more and more excited to influence my community and am learning so much about how I can do that. Last year while completing my community service hours, I volunteered at the nonprofit FARMS, a nonprofit that works to educate students about food insecurity and local agriculture, I realized just how broad my options of work are. Finding things that I care about is how I will live a fulfilled life and I hope to share this at GSLP.”
Hometown: Wellesley, Mass.
Claire’s leadership style: “My strength in leadership is that I am good at decision making. I can look at a project or situation and make a decision right away and stick to it, and is normally the right decision. I am a very decisive person. But I am also very good at compromising and have lots of patience if the rest of the group is not up to speed on my fast decision making.”
Hometown: New York, New York
Why Saraly thinks that GSLP is an important program:
“GSLP is an important program because it is focused on the transition from 8th grade to high
school which is a huge jump for many people. High school is a time when a lot of personal
growth occurs and also where many girls are faced with different situations for the first time, but this program acts a ‘crash course’ for the girls to learn about themselves such as their values, what type of leader they are and how to deal with certain circumstances and issues. GSLP also has a very personal aspect where the girls get to be placed into small groups and are in a safe environment to go through daily activities and allows them to feel comfortable being themselves in this program, so their experience can be one of the most fulfilling and enlightening. This program helps give the girls participating a head start on this transition from 8th to 9th grade and give them the confidence and support network they need to take high school by storm.”