2016 Miss CEO Summer Leadership Academy

Miss CEO recently wrapped up the 4th Annual Miss CEO Summer Leadership Academy, sponsored by the Stanford Bioengineering Department. During the course of this five-day program, 30 high school girls in grades 9–12 had the opportunity to develop their own leadership toolkits by mastering critical skills such as effective networking, time management, and negotiation, all while receiving mentorship from respected female leaders, innovators, and members of the Stanford community.

The Miss CEO Summer Leadership Academy is a rewarding experience for any young woman looking to receive invaluable leadership training, mentorship, and inspiration that will positively impact her academic, professional and personal development for years to come. Check out the highlights from this year’s program below.


Throughout the program, students had the opportunity to develop skills and discover their individual strengths in order to become more effective leaders.


A variety of unique and interactive activities brought the leadership lessons to life. Examples include:

  • Students explored Stanford’s beautiful grounds and learned the significance of teamwork while participating in a highly entertaining campus scavenger hunt.
  • The class experimented with improv in order to improve their body language and communication skills.
  • Students practiced effective networking while conducting informational interviews with highly accomplished mentors from Coursera.
  • The class utilized the highly applicable framework of design thinking to fix an area most high school students can relate to: how to improve the homework process.


You can’t be what you can’t see. This year’s SLA featured an inspiring line-up of instructors, mentors and career speakers who all generously shared their personal leadership lessons, career journeys and time in order to motivate the young women of SLA into action.

Memorable words from our speakers:

  • “The why is super important, we all have different reasons why we like stuff.”  Marta Hanson
  • “Convince others to believe in you.” — Rebecca Belisle
  • “Ask for what you want.” — Divya Siddarth
  • “It started because I love it… and now I get paid for it.” — Ashling Loh-Doyle
  • “You can take a different path and still achieve your goal.” — Neda Blocho
  • “I don’t want you to be a statistic and that is why we need to advocate for ourselves.” — Claire Holton-Basaldua


As the girls developed leadership skills and stepped outside of their comfort zones, they formed close bonds with each other and created a valuable community of friends, trusted advisors and influential mentors to continue to lean on in the years to come.


At the end of an action-packed week, students had the opportunity to reflect upon what they had learned and how they plan to integrate their newly developed skills into their lives. During Miss CEO’s graduation reception, students shared their personal takeaways, goals and action plans with families and friends.


SLA is a unique weeklong leadership program that instills lifelong confidence, motivation and knowledge in our students. Many of our past graduates stay in touch with Miss CEO and proudly share how this program helped them land internships, choose between colleges and majors, launch successful clubs, manage school projects as well as achieve other goals.

Miss CEO Alumna Cat Lammersen shares with students how SLA helped her become a better advocate for herself.

2016 SLA grads, in their own words:

“The most important thing that I loved about Miss CEO was the environment. Everyone here was so kind and loving and open to ideas. It was amazing to be able to be completely open about my life and share my ideas and thoughts with girls who were incredibly empowering.”

“Every guest speaker knew what they were talking about and were great speakers. They all were very interesting to listen to and made me interested in subjects that I wasn’t necessarily interested in before.”

“I liked meeting new people, practicing my confidence, and building new skills for high school.”

“Everything we learned here can be applied to our lives outside SLA.”

“I thought all the mentors really cared about each of us and really wanted to guide us and help us through this program.”

“I loved the variety of activities and the guest speakers we got to listen to. Listening to these different experiences helped me stress out less for the future.”

“I loved learning about how to negotiate and how to take pride in yourself and give yourself more credit that you thought you deserved.”

Congratulations to the graduates of the 2016 Miss CEO Summer Leadership Academy! These young women leaders and innovators are going to change the world and Miss CEO feels fortunate to have been a part of their journeys.

If you are interested in learning more about the 2017 Miss CEO Summer Leadership Academy, please contact our team at info@missceo.org and we will notify you when enrollment for next year’s program is open.