21st Annual The Sky is the Limit
Morgan Stanley presented the Mathews-Dickey "The Sky Is The Limit"; Program celebrated 21 years of career-readiness and guidance to more than 4,500 young women in the St. Louis area.
'The Sky Is The Limit' girls
Keynote Speaker Carla Harris
Shirley Washington of FOX 2
Barbara Washington with Guadalupe Gaona and Anna Maria Horsford
Morgan Stanley's Carla Harris, one of the most powerful women on Wall Street, an author and gospel singer who's sold out Carnegie Hall provided the keynote address at Morgan Stanley Presents the Mathews-Dickey 21st Annual "The Sky is the Limit" career-readiness luncheon. Area businesswomen who attended the event served as career-building luncheon partners for one of 200 high-school aged young women at the affair, May 8 at Hilton St. Louis at the Ballpark.
Harris is an acclaimed author of "Expect to Win" and other books, gospel singer and vice chairman, global wealth management and senior client advisor managing director at Morgan Stanley. In August 2013, President Barack Obama appointed her as the chairperson of the National Women's Business Council. She also has been recognized on Fortune's "The Most Powerful Black Executives in Corporate America" and "The Most Influential List"; Black Enterprise magazine's "Top 75 African Americans on Wall Street" and "Top 75 Most Powerful Women in Business"; Essence's "The 50 Women Who are Shaping the World" and Ebony's "15 Corporate Women at the Top."
The luncheon gave young women an opportunity to meet and network with successful female business owners and executives. Women mentors were asked to donate $100 to cover lunch for themselves and an assigned mentee. Individuals and companies were also invited to sponsor $1,000 college scholarships to be presented to graduating seniors selected for academic excellence, extra-curricular participation and community service.
Mathews-Dickey believes that one-time, episodic mentorship experiences create lasting impressions. Thus, the mentorship requirements are geared to accommodate today's on-the-move businesswoman. Mentors were asked to: set aside two hours to attend the luncheon and talk with a young woman about careers; consider sporting their favorite baby blue suit or dress in honor of our theme color; bring a business card to exchange with her partner and consider following up with that mentee after the event (this can be as simple as a word of encouragement, letter of recommendation or on-the-job shadowing experience. Of course, follow-up activities were optional and our staff were/are standing by to help facilitate the contact, if the mentor so desires).
Actress Anna Maria Horsford bestowed the scholarships. A special award was presented this year to the program's founder, Barbara A. Washington, who is now the principal of Bobcat Event Management & Consulting.
Prior the luncheon, the 200 young women attended the Women in Careers Workshop the afternoon of April 11, 2015, at Maritz. Women executives presented a variety of seminars and Belinda Bond, president & CEO of The Belinda Bond Connection and a former AT&T Executive, provided the career address.
This program is making a difference in young women's lives. Last year, 80 percent of students reported an increased knowledge of the education required for careers, 86 percent cited an increased exposure to helpful mentors, and 81 percent credited the program with improving their networking skills.
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Mathews-Dickey Boys' & Girls' Club is a nonprofit 501 (c) (3) United Way member agency that annually provides educational, athletic and cultural enrichment programs to more than 40,000 young people from throughout the St. Louis metropolitan area. Since 1960 the Club has taught youth respect, restraint and responsibility so that they may obtain credibility, integrity and accountability. For more information, call Bill Fronczak at (314) 382-5952, ext. 228.