October 11, 2019 – More than 400 female students from school districts across Westchester County participated in the first-ever Westchester County International Day of the Girl Conference at Manhattanville College. The event, titled Taking Charge of Your Future, was hosted by the Westchester County Youth Bureau in conjunction with the Women’s Leadership Institute at Manhattanville and the County’s other non-profit and private partners, to inspire young women to take an active role in their personal development and their future.

Westchester County Executive George Latimer said: “Westchester County is proud to celebrate the International Day of the Girl along with thousands of organizations across the nation who are playing their part in motivating young women to strive for more. I am proud to unite this diverse group of girls from public, private and parochial schools for one common purpose – to develop strategies and solutions that address the issues effecting young girls here at home, and beyond.”  

The Westchester County International Day of the Girl Conference was inspired by the United Nations’ International Day of the Girl Child, which was established on October 11, 2012 to highlight and uplift girls throughout the world. The Program featured remarks from elected officials, a panel discussion, musical performances from all girl bands and dance troupes, followed by educational workshops on the following topics:

  • Activism/Human Rights
  • College and Career Readiness
  • Empowerment (all dimensions)
  • Global Awareness/Civic Engagement
  • Healthy Relationships
  • Public Speaking/ Networking/ Relationship Building
  • STEAM (Sciences/Technology/Entrepreneurship/Art/Music/Math)

Executive Director of the Westchester County Youth Bureau Dr. DaMia Harris-Madden said: “This event is one of many opportunities to bring together community stakeholders that are committed to coaching, inspiring and healing girls from every tangent of the County. Our overarching hope is that this conference will be the first of many, which will help to ensure that the passion to uplift girls doesn’t remain in a box, but rather permeates the spaces in which girls live, learn and thrive.”

New York State Senator Shelly Mayer said: “Today, there are thousands of girls in Westchester that are poised to become local, national and global leaders. I look forward to participating in the very first Westchester County International Day of the Girl Conference as it establishes a new precedence for bringing our girls together, and creates an avenue for girls to become the brilliant and responsive change agents that society values and needs.” 

Manhattanville President Michael Geisler said: “We are proud to host this event that honors and empowers girls. Manhattanville College, for much of its nearly 200-year history, was an all-girls school and has long stood for equality. This was recognized world-wide after the path breaking 1938 declaration made by Mother Grace Dammann, then president of the College, that Manhattanville will always put principles – the equality of all students, no matter their race, gender or color – ahead of prejudices. I believe that our strong foundation of social justice enables Manhattanville to play a leading role in engendering dialogue on these issues.”

The Panelists included: Raina Kadavil, Global Product Marketing Specialist at Mastercard; Erica Ayala, non-profit consultant and sports writer; Rev. Doris K. Dalton, preacher and teacher; Kat Rodriguez, Grammy-nominated musician and singer and Nichelle Johnson, Judge in Mount Vernon City Court. The Program also featured a musical performance by Tag B, The All Girl Band in Young at Arts.

Sponsors of the event included Apple Bank, PCSB Community Foundation, AWAKE, Sharc Creative, Women’s Leadership Institute at Manhattanville College, Sister to Sister International, Inc., UNA Southern New York State Division, UNA Westchester, Greater Hudson Valley Chapter, Links Inc.,  Latino U College Access, One Love Foundation, Sister to Sister International, Inc. and the YWCA White Plains & Central Westchester.

The following Westchester County School Districts participated:

Alexander Hamilton High School

Charles E. Gorton High School

Dobbs Ferry High School

Nellie Thorton High School

New Rochelle High School

North Salem High School

Ossining High School

Peekskill High School

Pleasantville High School

Rochambeau Alternative High School

Sleepy Hollow High School

Somers High School

The Ursuline School

Walter Panas High School

Westlake High School

Woodlands High School

Yorktown High School

Westchester County International Day of the Girl Planning Committee:

Girl Scouts Heart of the Hudson

Girls Inc. of Westchester County

Greater Hudson Valley Chapter, Links Inc.

Home Run Against Drugs

Latino U College Access

One Love Foundation

Ossining Parents Advocating Collectively for Children

Peekskill Youth Bureau

Sherohub LLC

Sister to Sister International, Inc.

UNA Southern New York State Division

UNA Westchester

Westchester County Youth Bureau

White Plains Youth Bureau

Women’s Leadership Institute at Manhattanville College

YWCA White Plains & Central Westchester


For more information, please contact the Westchester County Youth Bureau at (914) 995-2745.