October 28-29, Forté held the 2021 Candid Conversations Leadership Conference (formerly called the Women of Color Leadership Conference) for Black, Latinx, and Native American undergraduate women. Participants heard from women leaders of color, learned how to strengthen their leadership skills and develop their personal brands, and more. Forté invited conference attendees to apply for one of 20 $1,000 Candid Conversations scholarships. Each applicant wrote a short essay about their experiences at the conference, their biggest takeaways from the event, or what Forté’s mission of #MoreWomenLeading means to them. We’re excited to share the 20 attendees who were selected for the scholarship, along with a short quote from each woman’s essay that offers a glimpse into what made this event so special. “#MoreWomenLeading means lifting as we climb and ensuring that we save seats at every table and hold doors open to those that follow after us.” – Farhat Ali, Arizona State University, Class of 2022 “‘Be less perfect, and be more brave.’ – Liba Saiovici. This quote, along with many others said during the conference, will stick with me forever.” – Gisselle Arias, University of Maryland, College Park, Class of 2024 “To me, #MoreWomenLeading means that more young women, such as myself, will take the opportunity to attend and succeed in business school.” – Amber Asumda, Tufts University, Class of 2022 “During the conference, I constantly took notes and quotes that caught my attention so those ‘gems’ would stick with me and offer guidance whenever I feel slightly discouraged or unmotivated.” – Nina-Simone Foster, Hunter College, Class of 2024 “When I step into a room of people that do not share any similarities with me, I would normally feel like an outcast. Now though, I am comfortable enough to converse confidently, and apply my ‘mission, vision, and values.’” – Ashley Helrich, George Washington University, Class of 2024 “#MoreWomenLeading means that all women from diverse backgrounds are at the table, and they are confident in using their voices to influence and inspire action at work and in the greater community.” – Elizabeth Holmes, Harford Community College, Class of 2022 “The conference made me look at the issues of being a black woman in a white-dominated workplace and taught me how to overcome the challenges that may arise because of that.” – Itunuade Jagun, University of Maryland, College Park, Class of 2023 “Attending law school and following my lifelong passion of advocating for those in the areas of civil rights and educational equity will allow me to implement the lessons I learned from this conference to lead authentically and unapologetically.” – Nneka Jones, Agnes Scott College, Class of 2022 “As I advance in my career and educational trajectory, I will take the initiative of establishing purposeful working relationships with executives to broaden my opportunities, be brave enough to provide my curious perspective, and commit myself to support other women in their professional, personal, and educational paths.” – Karla Magana, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Class of 2023 “Women from all backgrounds can use their leadership as a way to create more equality.” – Kenyer Malcolm, Hunter College, Class of 2022 “Through Forte’s #MoreWomenLeading mission, I finally feel confident and capable that I will be able to achieve my business dreams, and create a workplace where my fellow women will also feel empowered.” – Heavyn McDaniels, Wake Forest University, Class of 2025 “As I reflect on my experience attending the Forté conference, the overarching theme of the advice that stuck out to me is to get out of my bubble.” – Ifeoluwa Ogunkola, University of Maryland, College Park, Class of 2023 “There is so much power in being confident in who we are and what we bring to the table.” – Janet Rivera, University of Houston, Class of 2022 “To be surrounded by powerful women who commanded the virtual space, who had my same drive and desire to succeed, and who were willing to share their advice on fundamental leadership topics that are often missing from the standard school curriculum, gave me the space to learn more about my leadership style and who I could become as a leader.” – Kendrice Roc, Skidmore College, Class of 2023 “As I look forward to further navigating academia and corporate America upon graduation, I will be confident in speaking truth to power and let my positive reputation help promote sought-after diversification in the world.” – Jayda Rogers, Ohio State University, Class of 2022 “I was inspired to set a goal of amplifying my digital engagement by using LinkedIn more to deepen my relationships with my networks.” – Jacqueline Salguera, University of California, Berkeley, Class of 2023 “It’s not solely the effort we give, but the communities supporting us every step of the way, that makes achieving success a reality.” – Paola Santiago, Washington University in Saint Louis, Class of 2024 “Finding a mentor and building a support system are excellent ways to advocate for myself and others as a college student applying for internships and exploring career opportunities.” – Lilliepearl Schultz, Spelman College, Class of 2023 “After attending this conference, to me ‘More Women Leading’ means our courage to take up space and having the bravery to let our voices be heard.” – Jenica Walcott, Agnes Scott College, Class of 2023 “The panelists in the conference helped me realize that getting out of my comfort zone is truly the only pathway to grow and excel.” – Alexis Williams, Wake Forest University, Class of 2025 Congratulations to all of our scholarship winners. We can’t wait to see what you accomplish as you finish college and begin your careers! Want updates about future Forté college conferences? Sign up here.