It’s young women like 16-year-old Courtney Toon that you want to see strive to excel and never give up on their dreams – no matter how big.
The Nepean High Year 11 student wants to become a criminal lawyer, dealing with issues such as human trafficking, or pursue a career in English literature.
Whichever way she goes, the Inspiring Young Women event, held at Pepper Stadium in Penrith, has encouraged her to work hard and be the best she can be despite any setbacks.
“I’ve spoken to lots of people who studied law, and 50 per cent of them said they tried the course and didn’t like it, and that’s why I decided to have other options,” Courtney said.
“But I think this day is important particularly for our generation, for inspiration. Everyone is driven in a different way, and it’s interesting to see how different people used their weaknesses to succeed.
“It’s always been that men have dominated over women, but I think now it’s an important time, because we are in that transition and women are taking the stand.”
Ms Toon was one of 79 students from local high schools such as Nepean CAPA, Cambridge Park, Jamison, Kingswood, Cranebrook, Glenmore Park, St Clair and Penrith Christian School who attended the event.
Gabrielle Bongiorno, Executive Manager of Corporate Services at a Penrith engineering and consulting firm, J Wyndham Prince, helped organise the day for the young women.
Ms Bongiorno said all the local young women had the chance to connect with local successful women from a range of occupations to facilitate conversation about careers, success and determination.
“It’s all about having successful local women here as a presenter or mentor, and sharing their life and career experiences and imparting that knowledge to the girls,” she said.
“Hopefully the girls walk away inspired in some way, whether it be to simply set a goal or achieve something school related, personal, or perhaps consider a different career path they hadn’t though about.”
This is the second year the event has ran, and Ms Bongiorno hopes to hold it again next year.
She also thanked local organisations for their support.