Female Leadership Initiative at Oakland Catholic

Female Leadership Initiative at Oakland Catholic

Isabelle Schmeler '18, Multimedia Editor

     As many of you know may know, Oakland Catholic is beginning a new chapter of female leadership promotion in our school through a new club founded by junior Gabby Moran. Gabby kindly shared some information about the Female Leadership Initiative and its background, how we should get involved, and what we should expect in the near future.


Q: How did the idea of the Female Leadership Initiative emerge?


A: At the end of my freshman year, Ms. Coleman assigned an essay focusing on issues faced by my generation.  As I found myself looking for something offbeat (i.e. besides bullying, eating disorders, etc.), I realized, why not focus on an issue that I see everyday, that still confuses me, and I think I want to change?  As I conducted my research, via interviews, books, and most strikingly the Miss Representation documentary, I felt that I could finally understand my own self-doubt, the pressure my peers and I face, and why so many young women faces extreme challenges in fulfilling their God-given potential.  Walking away from this assignment, I truly felt that it was my obligation to share this message of gender equality and sex complementarity with my peers, in order to take the necessary steps to empower a generation of young women who understand and are able to tackle challenges presented by antiquated and or uninformed views.  At the core of my vision, was the realization of my own potential as a leader and the inspiration I drew from those around me daily.      


Q: What’s the purpose of the FLI?


A: Primarily, the Oakland Catholic Female Leadership Initiative was designed to address the root causes of the deficiency of female leadership locally and globally.  Subsequently, OC FLI aims to make students aware of how their environment/culture can inhibit them from reaching their fullest potential, provide students with examples of successful women in our community while creating necessary networking opportunities, foster relationships for a stable foundation, and allow students to experience making a difference, while in an all-girls school known for its supportive environment.  


Q: How should students get involved?


A: OC FLI hosts monthly meetings focusing on a wide range of issues surrounding female leadership.  Once students have had the opportunity to learn about and embrace our message, they have the opportunity to join our OC FLI advisory board that is involved in planning meetings and our two upcoming events: first an interfaith panel discussion focusing on the influence of religion in cultural perspectives of female leadership and secondly our community outreach event that aims to promote a cultural dialogue between and amongst youth and community leaders on the topic of promoting female leadership.  


Q: What should we expect through the FLI?


A: Anyone joining OC FLI should expect a supportive environment where our cohort dives into understanding the root causes of the challenges we face as young female leaders and more importantly an opportunity to define what leadership means to you.   


Q: What do you see in the future for the FLI?


A: I see a bright and prosperous future for OC FLI.  I believe that there is no better place or time to start this initiative than Oakland Catholic High School, and I believe that there is no better group to work with than my peers at Oakland Catholic High School.  The young women of Oakland Catholic are innovative, compassionate, intelligent, and self-dignified contributing members of their communities and we all deserve the opportunity to live up to our God-given potential as “respected and responsible global leaders”, without limitations put in place by ourselves or society.  I see OC FLI as a sustainable program that will lend support to young women hopefully far past my graduation.    


The OC Female Leadership Initiative is definitely something to get involved in with so many new and exciting activities planned.  We are so thrilled to see such a wonderful new initiative being put into place at OC, and we cannot wait to see all the great things that will come out of it!