TMLA Alumnae Inspire and Challenge Students

TMLA celebrated International Women’s Day on March 8 by welcoming back several of our distinguished alumnae professionals.   In panel discussions, special interest conferences, and large group assemblies students heard the career stories and asked questions of eleven alumnae who came from Class of 1965 to Class of 2006.

The alumnae represented diverse fields of interest. Many had made history in leadership positions.  All contributed significantly, whether to education, federal government, medicine, engineering, or business; for example, we welcomed back alumna Dr. Donna Schaeffer who is the First and Only Woman in the World to head a Doctoral Program in Cybersecurity. Names of these alumnae visitors with their academic and professional titles may be found at TMLA Alumnae Visit on International Women’s Day.

Senior Elise Wollemborg was inspired by the confidence many of these women shared, especially when they explained that they built this confidence during their time at TMLA, and that this confidence stayed with them as they faced opposition in male-dominated fields.

Senior Chloe Chang claimed, “These women spoke about the fact that going to an all-girls high school gave them confidence to challenge and shatter the boundaries that confine women.”  Chloe felt that these talented professionals “made it clear that being a woman is not a setback,” but an opportunity to prove to the world their great potential.

Junior Madison Lewinger said she ”thoroughly enjoyed speaking with the empowered alumnae yesterday.  I really enjoyed hearing their experiences at Mary Louis and how they got to the position they are in. It’s safe to say that their advice paved the way to where I want to be when I’m older.”  Madison explained that since she has a love for being around kids, childhood education would be an option for her; she also enjoyed seeing how involved her father was at work.  Another consideration was that marketing and advertising would allow her to work with people and incorporate her love of math.

Senior Gabriela Maldonado also enjoyed the opportunity to speak with the alumnae visitors.  She noted qualities of “resilience and drive” common in these TMLA graduates.  Gabriela agreed with many of her classmates that “listening to their stories was truly inspiring.”

The personal stories of TMLA alumnae who spoke to students on March 8 were vivid testimonies to the goal for International Women’s Day – a global celebration of the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity. 

At the end of this alumnae visit, Elise said she felt privileged to share a high school with such a group of talented professionals, and that she was grateful for the opportunities TMLA has provided her, her classmates, and all of these alumnae in order to allow for their accomplishments. 

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