Symposium shares best practices for empowering girls

By Chris Copeland

Three teenage girls“What works with boys doesn’t necessarily work with girls,” said Susan Alford, director of The Girls Center at Clemson’s Youth Learning Institute, “but professional development programs that address gender-responsive strategies are few and far between in South Carolina.”

In response, The Girls Center will host the third annual Empowering Girls Symposium at the Conference Center in Columbia on September 26, in partnership with the Leadership Institute of Columbia College and the S.C. Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ). The symposium is designed to draw a diverse audience of practitioners, from state human service agencies to faith-based organizations.

Keynote speakers include: Valorie Burton, nationally renowned speaker, life strategist and author of What’s Really Holding You Back? and other books; Jerry Adger, Deputy Director of SC-DJJ who is nationally recognized for leading a gender-responsive  facility for young women; and Carolyn Sawyer, award-winning journalist, entrepreneur and author of Forget the Glass Slipper.

For more information or to register: Lori Gugan, 864-878-1041,, or