2nd Annual Girls Education Conference: Progress, Power & Possibilities

June 24, 2020 @ 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
Virtual via Zoom

The 2nd Annual Girls Education Conference: Progress, Power & Possibilities, presented by YWCA Metropolitan Chicago and African Community Fund for Education (ACFE) is a virtual, half-day summit designed for attendees to learn from and contribute to a discussion on early learning innovation, expanding youth educational experiences, the importance of mentorship, and the economic impact of investing in girls’ education.


Keynote and Q&A: The Digitalization Age

Presented by Jaime Casap, Education Evangelist, Google

We are living in extraordinary times. Digitalization has impacted our lives for a few decades now, and it will affect all segments of our world at some level of degree. We are at the very beginning of the digitalized age, and the pandemic is only going to expedite its growth. To prepare for this future, students need to understand the role digitalization plays and develop the critical human skills required for this new age. The idea of “lifelong learning” has been around for a generation. Still, we haven’t ever really put in practice to make this idea a reality. We have the tools and technology to bring lifelong learning to life; our students will not survive the future without the ability to learn new skills continually. In this presentation, Jaime Casap will explore these ideas and make a case for the ability to learn as the most critical skill students need to master.

About Jaime Casap

Jaime Casap is the Chief Education Evangelist at Google. Jaime evangelizes the potential of digitalization as an enabling capability in pursuit of promoting inquiry-based learning models. Jaime collaborates with school systems, educational organizations, and leaders focused on building innovation into our education policies and practices.

In addition to his role at Google, Jaime serves as an advisor to dozens of organizations focused on learning, skill development, and the future of work.  He is the coauthor of “Our First Talk About Poverty,” as a way to talk to children about poverty.  Jaime helped launch the Phoenix Coding Academy, a public high school in Phoenix, AZ, focused on computer science as part of an inquiry-based learning model.  He teaches a 10th-grade communication class at the school.  He also guest lectures at Arizona State University.

He speaks on education, digitalization, innovation, generation z, and the future of work at events around the world.  You can follow and reach him on Twitter at @jcasap and watch his YouTube career advice videos at www.youtube.com/jaimecasap.


Presentation and Q&A: Developing the Next Generation of Girl Bosses

Presented by Cameka Smith, Founder, The BOSS Network and Program Director, BOSS On Campus

In this presentation Cameka Smith will discuss:

  • Combating the challenges that young girls face in their daily lives, including fear, doubt, bullying, cliques and social media.
  • Building up positive qualities like confidence, kindness, leadership, self-respect and inner beauty.
  • Pursuing goals outside our comfort zone and defining what it means to live a purpose driven life.

About Cameka Smith

Speaker, trainer and award-winning entrepreneur – these are just a few words that describe Cameka Smith, Founder of The BOSS Network, a community of professional and entrepreneurial women who support each other through conversation, online engagement and event-based networking. Working towards one simple goal, BOSS® is “Bringing Out Successful Sisters” to promote and encourage the small business spirit and professional development of women.

Under Cameka’s leadership, The BOSS Network has become one of the fastest-growing women business communities, garnering several accolades such as a Top 50 Website for Entrepreneurs (Inc. Magazine), 10 Best Career Sites for Women (Forbes.com) and one of 9 Twitter Accounts to Enhance Your College Experience (BlackEnterprise.com). In recognition of her achievements, Cameka was listed in Jet Magazine as a 40 under 40 Entrepreneur, named one of the Top 40 Chicago Game Changers by Ariel Investments, The Network Journal listed her one of their 2016, 40 under 40 Business Leaders, and she was presented with a Rising Brand Star award by the Adweek in 2017.

With a Master’s degree in Education, Cameka developed student academic programs for more than ten years. After being displaced from her job in 2009, she established The BOSS Network to support women in their journey to become independent and successful utilizing the power of networking and technology. Since then, The BOSS Network has evolved into a go-to resource for companies seeking female influencers as their target market. A one-stop-shop for career and entrepreneurial minded women, The BOSS Network provides its members and partners with professional connections, resources, and marketing and promotional opportunities.

As the author of 7 Steps to Grow Your Professional Network: A Guide for College Graduates and Professionals in a Tough Economy, Cameka frequently travels to college campuses with her nonprofit, BOSS On Campus and speaks on career development and leadership topics. Cameka currently resides in Chicago where she is actively involved in charity work and mentoring youth. In 2019, Cameka celebrated 10 years, empowering women and girls with The BOSS Network.

Follow The BOSS Network on Twitter and Instagram @TheBOSSNetwork and BOSS on Campus on Twitter @BOSSOnCampus.


Panel Discussion

Moderated by Shelley Bromberek-Lambert, Chief Reimagination Officer, YWCA Metropolitan Chicago

Panelists include:

  • Esther Benjamin, CEO and Executive Director, World Education Services, World Education Services
  • Jill Eid, Executive Director, Girls on the Run-Chicago
  • Carla Walker, Founder & CEO, think BIG strategies, llc and Climate Advisor, City of Cincinnati, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC)
  • Victoria Watkins, Chief of Staff to the Chairman & Co-CEO, Ariel Investments and Co-Founder & Vice President, Project Style


Become Our Partner

The YWCA encourages you to support this event and become a partner in creating an inclusive marketplace where everyone has the opportunity to thrive. Email events@ywcachicago.org to learn more.



For educators interested in attending this event on scholarship, please email events@ywcachicago.org.