Employees from Marathon Petroleum’s refinery in Robinson, Illinois, along with volunteers from other area companies recently worked together to bring the national tour, Young Women LEAD (YWL) to Robinson. The live event, crisscrossing the country is focused on inspiring and boosting the confidence and ambitions of high school aged girls.
Approximately 200 sophomore and junior girls from across Crawford County attended the event at Lincoln Trail College to hear presentations from local and nationally recognized women leaders who shared their life experiences and tips to a successful and meaningful future.
YWL’s 2022 keynote speaker, Julie Carrier, a success coach, award-winning national speaker, author and host of MTV’s hit show "MADE," shared her hard-won secrets to success and how her mantra “ABC – Always Be Confident” helped her meet life’s challenges head on.
“Those Always Be Confident moments happen every single day and any one of those can create a completely different life,” Carrier told the auditorium full of teen girls. “It’s not so much about me and my story, but what matters is you and your story. The story that you choose to write from this day forward.”
Other guest speakers included the event’s emcee, Patrece Dayton an Anchor/Reporter from WTHI-TV, who shared her experience about working in a heavily male dominated field and stressed the importance of always following your dreams. Marathon Petroleum’s Robinson refinery General Manager Amy Macak, one of the event organizers, also spoke at the event about how important it is not only to be a role model to these young women but to actively participate in ensuring they have the tools and resources necessary to be successful.
“As a leader, it is my responsibility to always be a role model for my employees,” said Macak. “As a woman, it is my privilege to provide other women an example of what they can be, even in an industry that is traditionally geared towards men, especially in leadership positions.”
By the end of the event, it was evident that the individuals who came through the doors that morning, uncertain of what the day would bring, were leaving armed with newfound confidence in themselves and each other. Here’s what a few of the attendees had to say:
“If I had to pick one line from the entire thing, I would say ‘the impossible is possible’ and to just believe in yourself and to never stop doing it.”
“It was really fun overall, being around so many incredible women and the confidence from every single one of them—it was great.”
“This was 100% worth our time. I honestly didn’t think I would enjoy it nearly as much as I did.”
Marathon Petroleum is working with event organizers and the local community to make this an annual event and to expand their reach by adding additional schools next year.