Promoting a healthy environment with the Women’s Leadership Council

Written by Petty Officer 2nd Class Lauren Laughlin

Coast Guard Academy Women’s Leadership Council presidents and vice presidents: Cadet 2nd Class Elizabeth Miller, Cadet 1st Class Kyla Hughley, Cadet First Class Mikki Hepler, Cadet 2nd Class Emma Compagnoni. Hughley- "The success of every woman should be the inspiration to another. We should raise each other up. Make sure you’re very courageous: be strong, be extremely kind, and above all be humble." – Serena Williams Hepler- “The question isn’t who is going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me?” – Ayn Rand

Coast Guard Academy Women’s Leadership Council presidents and vice presidents: Cadet 2nd Class Elizabeth Miller, Cadet 1st Class Kyla Hughley, Cadet First Class Mikki Hepler, Cadet 2nd Class Emma Compagnoni.
Hughley- “The success of every woman should be the inspiration to another. We should raise each other up. Make sure you’re very courageous: be strong, be extremely kind, and above all be humble.” – Serena Williams
Hepler- “The question isn’t who is going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me?” – Ayn Rand

In today’s increasingly global world, understanding diverse cultures and embracing differences is essential to success. Given the challenges and far-reaching missions of the Coast Guard, wise cadets seek to strengthen their understanding of other cultures and faiths, while growing in their own tradition. As a result, they better understand themselves, those with whom they serve, as well as the public they will encounter.

The Coast Guard Academy has eight cultural organizations on campus.

Of those organizations, the Women’s Leadership Council, made up of over 150 male and female members, works to promote female health and wellness, creates a professional female leadership network and creates a positive relationship between female and male cadets.

The Women’s Leadership Council is a wonderful opportunity for cadets to participate and take an active role at the Academy and in the community.

“I joined the Women’s Leadership Council because I realized the importance and benefits of building a solid network of strong women within the Academy community,” said Coast Guard Cadet 1st Class Kyla Hughley. “It is nice to be around a group of people that can often relate to you and support you in various ways. The events the council hosts also provide me with many opportunities to meet new people and experience new things. My favorite event so far has been the Mingle & Mentor event because I enjoy having officers and enlisted personnel from on and off base come speak to us. I have stayed in contact with so many of these individuals and they have been a great support system.”

The Women’s Leadership Council and mentors pose for a photo during a Meet and Mentor event at the Academy. Photo courtesy of the Women’s Leadership Council.

The Women’s Leadership Council and mentors pose for a photo during a Meet and Mentor event at the Academy. Photo courtesy of the Women’s Leadership Council.

The council’s mission is to give all members of the Academy the opportunity to discuss and explore equity in leadership with peers and active duty service members.

The Women’s Leadership Council’s goal is to start the conversation, bring awareness, promote a healthy environment, and build a constructive leadership network that members can carry into the Coast Guard.

Throughout the year, the council will host many events such as guest speakers, women’s leadership panels, and more mingle and mentor events.

The council also participated in the annual Officer Women’s Leadership Symposium in Washington, D.C.

“I am honored to be part of a class with one of the highest percentage of women at a service academy; and I am proud to be a member of the Coast Guard Academy’s Women’s Leadership Council,” said Coast Guard Cadet 2nd Class Kate Ashbey. “Through this club, I have met many female leaders whom I am fortunate enough to call mentors. WLC provided me the opportunity to attend the Officer Women Leadership Conference in Washington, D.C., where I was able to gain insight from distinguished keynote speakers, network with officers and enlisted of all military branches, and become further aware of issues that I may face in the fleet. Through this conference and other various club events, my confidence in my ability to be a successful officer has grown. I am thankful for the impact that WLC has had on the Coast Guard Academy campus and on my life.”

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