Aspire - Leadership for the future

The Aspire M.A.D. (Making a Difference) Leadership Event for Girls 2017
London, UK - Saturday, 25th March 2017

Join Dr Sam Collins, CEO of Aspire and named as 'One of the Top 200 Women to Impact Business and Industry’ by Her Majesty, The Queen, and over 100 young women aged between 11 and 17 years old at our first ever M.A.D. (Making A Difference) Leadership Event for Girls.  Supported by the amazing global law firm Eversheds Sutherland.



M.A.D. Leadership Conference Agenda

Saturday, 25th March 2017 at Eversheds LLP, 1 Wood Street, London, EC2V 7WS

Registration, breakfast and informal networking 8.30am – 9.30am

Begin the day with a light breakfast, networking and an optional mindfulness yoga session.

Optional breakfast session

Mindfulness Yoga for a M.A.D. Life, Career and World

Learning Objectives: Get ready for the event with a mindfulness session to be grounded, dispel any fears and open your heart to all that is to come during M.A.D Leadership.

Rupy Kumar,
Family and Children's Yoga Teacher


Conference Opening

The power and impact of being a Young ‘M.A.D.’ leader at home, school and in the world

Learning Objectives: Think big about your life and career and overcome your fears and obstacles. Define your M.A.D. Leadership project and make a difference to yourself and others.

Dr Sam Collins,
CEO and Founder
Aspire, Trailblazing Women


Session 2

Keynote Speakers:

Challenging Young Women Leaders to be a Catalyst for Change

Learning Objectives: Whatever your age or background, be inspired to think big about your future career, life and making a difference (M.A.D.) in the wider world. Determine the passions and strengths you have that will empower you to discover your career direction, lead change and truly make a difference in an ever changing and turbulent world.

Rhoda 17, Oyin 18, Maria 18 and Abigail 17,
Saint Saviour's and Saint Olave's School


Session 3

Speaker Sessions:

Know Your Purpose & Increase Your Confidence, Resilience and Impact

Learning objectives: Hear inspirational stories and gain practical tips from young women who have achieved great things against the odds.

Mariam Inayat, 21,
Newcastle University


Jenny Raw, 17,
Head Girl,
Nottingham Girls' High School


Rachel Wibberley, 18,
Nottingham Girls' High School


Soraya Thompson, 24,
Regional English Digital Marketing Manager
at The British Council


Sara Fernandez Schmidt, 14,
St Francis College


Session 4

Panel Discussion: Increase Your Courage and Become Fearless to achieve your M.A.D. goals and aspirations.

Sophia Zahra, 19,
Young Carers Support Worker, YMCA
and Digital Marketing Manager, Young Scientists Journal


Caitlin Moore, 16,
Girlguiding Delegate,
British Youth Council


Hania Sulaiman, 14,
Youth Councillor, Trafford Youth Cabinet
and secondary school student


Destiny Manning-Wong, 16,
Deputy Head Girl,
Stockport Academy High School


Kamilah Francis,
R.E.D. Butterfly


Session 5

Interactive Session: The M.A.D. Leadership Finale 

Learning Objectives: Create tangible action plans and gain support and accountability from a new network of like-minded young women peers.



Kamilah Francis
Founder, R.E.D. Butterfly

Kamilah Francis is a mentor, activist and youth and community worker. She's been involved in youth and community work for nearly 17 years since she was a young person. She is passionate about her work and has recently been nominated for a Community Hero&Shero award.

Last year Kamilah was able to go to Bosnia with the charity Remembering Srebrenica and then to Uganda with the charity Retrak. Currently she is a supporting mentor at REIGN which is a young woman-led programme of CSE (Child Sexual Exploitation) Survivors. REIGN is backed by RECLAIM Project. Kamilah is also in the process of setting up her own organisation, R.E.D Butterfly, where she hopes to help women Realise, Empower and Develop the power they already have within them to become their true-self.

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Destiny Manning-Wong, 16
Deputy Head Girl, Stockport Academy High School

Destiny is 16 years old and in her final year of high school. She is Deputy Head Girl of Stockport Academy High School and holds a lot of other titles in school such as Gold Tie - Senior Prefect, Peer Mentor, Anti Bullying Ambassador, GLAM (Girl Leadership And Marketing) Squad, Hospitality Team Member, Form and Netball Captain to name but a few. She has also won a number of awards: two Princess Diana Awards for Anti Bullying and Being a Good Role Model, a James Conaway award - for caring for others and Sports Woman of the Year. Destiny has achieved all of this since losing her mother half way through her 1st year of high school. Destiny loves helping others and is keen to become a better version of herself. Destiny has aspirations to become an accountant and eventually open her own accountancy firm.

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Sara Fernandez Schmidt, 14
Student, St Francis College

Sara is a 14-year-old student from London, England. She currently attends St. Francis College. Her father and mother are of Spanish and German descent and Sara is therefore fluent in both languages. Her interests include fitness, travel, charity work, reading and cooking. In 2015, she travelled to Bosnia, taking part in the annual march commemorating the Genocide that took place in 1995.

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Rhoda 17, Oyin 18, Maria 18 and Abigail 17
Saint Saviour's and Saint Olave's School

Rhoda, Oyin, Maria and Abigail are four ‘M.A.D.’ young women from south east London who have a passion for making a difference in the world. At age sixteen, they raised over £40,000 to complete a community development project in a rural village in Malawi, Africa. Through sheer determination and as a team, they made presentations to businesses such as Barclays, organised a Malawi concert and arranged a sponsored sleep out in cardboard boxes in the pouring London rain. While on the project they worked tirelessly building accommodation for teachers, taught English classes to local school children and became immersed in the inspirational community. Since their profound experience in Malawi, they have all chosen future career and life paths guided by it, including studying medicine and social care. They are strong young leaders and advocates for the idea that regardless of your own background, through hard work and perseverance you can be a leader in making a difference to others.

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Rupy Kumar
Family and Children's Yoga Teacher

Rupy is a Family and Children's Yoga Teacher, a recent graduate from Rainbow Yoga Training, the largest and most well regarded Children's Yoga Teacher Training in the world. She has been practising yoga and meditation for several years and is passionate about the benefits yoga can bring both on and off the mat, particularly for children to focus, be calm and happier. Rupy’s public classes in West London give attendees a chance to switch off from the many distractions in life, to slow down and reconnect with their breath and one another.

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Hania Sulaiman, 14
Youth Councillor, Trafford Youth Cabinet and secondary school student

Hania is 14 years old and a pupil at Altrincham Girls Grammar School. She plays for the netball, badminton and rounders teams and loves playing hockey and tennis as well as doing swimming and Aikido. She believes sport is for everyone regardless of race, height, religion, gender or sexuality. Hania knows that so many girls do not play sport and are missing out on all the amazing things that come with it. She wants to share her passion and motivate girls to do sports because of its life changing benefits.

Hania spoke in the House of Commons to the youth select committee as part of their racism and religious discrimination inquiry and at the youth cabinet "Let's Talk Youth" conference where she also ran a workshop about e-safety with 4 friends. She will also speak at the upcoming "Let's talk Primary" conference.

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Soraya Thompson, 24
Regional English Digital Marketing Manager at The British Council

Soraya is the Regional English Digital Marketing Manager for Europe at the British Council and she holds an MSc in Business (Marketing) from Warwick Business School. Her interest in empowering young women today comes from her weekly e-newsletter My GenY which uncovers the latest millennial discoveries in the fields of culture, food and travel. Soraya is also a freelance consultant for Northacre, a high-end residential property developer in central London, and has previously worked at HSBC in equity research marketing and at London Fashion Week 2015/16. She is passionate about technology, sports and fashion.

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Rachel Wibberley, 18
Nottingham Girls' High School

Making a difference motivates Rachel. She wants to have a role in shaping the world for others and is excited about her opportunity to represent the National Council for Women at the 61st Commission. 

Whilst volunteering in a women's empowerment centre and girls’ orphanage in India, Rachel gained a deeper understanding of the inequality of the status of women. Rachel has spoken in national debates in the House of Commons and she is able to listen to the voices of young people from each constituency of the UK and represent their voices on a national scale. Her current experiences, enthusiasm and desire to promote women's rights inspire Rachel to put words into action and work towards a brighter future for women across the world.

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Jenny Raw, 17
Head Girl, Nottingham Girls' High School

Jenny is the current Head Girl at Nottingham Girls’ High School, where she leads a team of 12 Prefects to organise regular events in school and in the local community. Jenny was also selected to work on a Cabinet Office initiative, where she became a Young Community Leader, selecting exceptional volunteers in the East Midlands to be nominated for a national award. This initiative concluded with a presentation in Downing Street. This empowered Jenny to take on a leading role in the National Council of Young Women at school and she has since been selected to attend the UN Women's Commission on the Status of Women 61, accredited by the National and International Councils of Women, where she will give a speech about ‘leaving no one behind’ when implementing Sustainable Development Goals 1 and 8. Giving a speech at the National Council of Women’s Annual Conference 2016 and hearing about their important work has developed Jenny’s passion for women’s rights. The team she led at the Girls' Day School Trust Young Leaders' Conference campaigned for the Humanitarian Aid Relief Trust and won their charity’s category where she learnt about the important work of charities and NGOs internationally. Jenny hopes to spend her career advocating Human Rights of others and inspiring young people to understand the importance of gender equality.

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Mariam Inayat, 21
Student, Newcastle University

Mariam is at Newcastle University studying Government and EU Studies with Spanish. At 16, she joined the Oldham Youth Council and was elected a member of UK Youth Parliament. She has just begun her third year on the board as a trustee for the British Youth Council. She has previously been invited to represent young peoples’ views on various issues at the European Parliament and the Council of Europe such as integrating minorities and the UK’s PREVENT agenda, which is one of four work strands which make up the UK government‘s counter-terrorism strategy. She has participated in as many as 13 international youth conferences and is committed to youth participation across Europe.

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Caitlin Moore, 16
Girlguiding Delegate, British Youth Council

Caitlin is 16 years old and a Girlguiding Delegate on the British Youth Council, where she champions the voices of girls and young women. In this role Caitlin has been able to influence national campaigns, gain involvement in politics and represent the voices of young women in the media, for example, as a guest editor on BBC 5 Live as part of the BBC 100 Women Series and taking part in an ITV tonight programme on sexual harassment. Caitlin believes that advocating the issues that face young women on such platforms is hugely empowering and more importantly, emboldens the voices of others.

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Sophia Zahra, 19
Young Carers Support Worker, YMCA and Digital Marketing Manager, Young Scientists Journal

Sophia works as a Young Carers Support Worker at the YMCA and is also an A-level student self-studying Maths and Biology part-time. She is passionate about mental health and so volunteers as a Young Champion to raise awareness and battle stigma as part of the Time to Change charity. Sophia is also Digital Marketing Manager for Young Scientists Journal, the world's only peer reviewed science journal for 12-20 year olds, where she manages the Social Media team and coordinates wider communication with press and subscribers. Sophia is 19 years old, and lives in Swansea, Wales.

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Dr Sam Collins
CEO and Founder Aspire, Trailblazing Women

Award-winning leadership expert, social entrepreneur, keynote speaker, coach and author, Dr Sam Collins is synonymous with M.A.D. (Making A Difference) Women Leaders and is a leading global voice on women as leaders and change agents for workplaces, organisational culture and community impact. Sam has been named one of the 'Top 200 Women to Impact Business & Industry' by Her Majesty, The Queen, one of the 'Top 10 Coaches' by The Independent and 'Leader in the Workplace' in the Ogûnte Women's Social Leadership Awards.

She has worked with over 25,000 women leaders from global corporations, small business, government and non profits over the past 14 years and has contributed to The Financial Times, The Guardian, CNN, The Huffington Post, The Sunday Times and the BBC. She has contributed to 'Focus on Africa' on the BBC World Service and was a 'Micro Genius' for Psychologies Magazine.

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