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Exterior photo of UK Otis Singletary Center for the Arts, a brick building on campus

Registration is open for high school students to attend the Young Women LEAD conference at the University of Kentucky. The free event focuses on leadership, education and development and is hosted by the UK College of Education’s Department of STEM Education at the Otis A. Singletary Center for the Arts. Sponsors include ToyotaSOAR and Lexmark.  

“This conference features speakers who will inspire participants to feel empowered to pursue their goals and be leaders in their schools,” said Jonathan Thomas, Ph.D., chair of the STEM Education Department in the UK College of Education. “Young Women LEAD has a particular focus on empowering high school girls to consider futures in STEM careers and we are excited to be part of that mission.” 

The conference features interactive breakout sessions, speakers and lunch. Keynote speaker Ava Johnson, Say It with Music, will lead an interactive STEAM experience, empowering attendees through music, STEM and more. She will share about music songwriting and production, the power of words and how actions are influenced by music. 

Also featured will be former Miss Kentucky and UK alumna Hannah Edelen along with a powerhouse panel of successful women from Kentucky sharing their insights and experiences in a variety of careers and passions — along with expertise on issues that high school girls face. The sessions will teach important skills needed to be successful in the workforce, STEM and through leadership. 

The conference is free to all participants, and more than 700 students are expected to attend. This year marks the 14th year for Young Women LEAD in Central Kentucky. 

Register by visiting Registration is first-come, first-served and is limited to the first 700 registrants. 

“If we can help even just one girl be a confident leader today, provide her hope to be something that she never thought possible and vision herself in a future career she didn’t think possible, then we have accomplished our goal for the conference,” said Kimberly Code, executive director of Young Women LEAD. 

For more information, contact Faith McNabb in the Department of STEM Education at or 859-257-4235.