Skills Young Women Leaders Need in High School

St. Agnes Academy
We recommend that students at St. Agnes develop certain leadership skills throughout their time in high school. Learn how young women leaders can build their skills.
High school plays a pivotal role in a young woman’s development and growth. Throughout each step of the high school journey, it’s important for a young woman to identify her strengths and weaknesses to become a well-rounded, effective young leader.

We believe that young women of all ages are capable of achieving remarkable levels of success. St. Agnes Academy prides itself on offering future leaders a secure, yet challenging environment within which to develop their leadership skills.

As a student moves through her high school journey, these leadership skills will continue to grow and develop. While there are many possible approaches to leadership and community-building, there are a few critical skills that young women leaders should focus on during their time at St. Agnes.

Let’s take a close look at which skills each student should prioritize from year to year throughout her high school career.

What Skills Do Young Women Leaders Require?

The young women of today are faced with unprecedented opportunities for personal and professional development. Young women seeking to hone their leadership skills before entering the next phase of their academic journey are well-advised to build on their skillset over time.

At St. Agnes, we guide each student through her personal journey to embody personal leadership and act with integrity and compassion. Here are a few suggestions for leadership abilities to focus on during each year at St. Agnes to complete this journey.

Freshman Year – Listening 

Listening is at the core of any effective leadership strategy.

During a student’s first year at St. Agnes, she will be faced with many adaptive challenges, like meeting new classmates and developing relationships with new teachers. Each new experience brings with it an opportunity to practice active listening, which is the cornerstone of effective communication.

Learning to respectfully engage with far-ranging perspectives and opinions enables a young woman to tactfully develop her communication skills and lays a strong foundation for leading diverse groups in the future.

Key Building Blocks:
  • Recognize your Dominican heritage and incorporate prayer into daily life.
  • Demonstrate intellectual curiosity, critical thinking, and a dedication to life-long learning.

Sophomore Year – Communicating 

Once a student has devoted herself to developing practical listening skills, it is crucial for a sophomore at St. Agnes to develop the ability to articulate her own thoughts and opinions.

Effective communication is key when engaging with new or unfamiliar points of view, and St. Agnes seeks to empower its students with the confidence to clearly express their own needs, feelings, and beliefs.

Key Building Blocks:
  • Witness Gospel values, understand veritas (or truth) and live this out through word and deed.
  • Embrace diversity and champion the marginalized in society.

Junior Year – Making Difficult Decisions 

Listening and communicating are critical leadership skills for women of any age, but the work does not stop there. In many situations, effective leadership requires that multiple parties work together to arrive at a solution or decision that works for the group as a whole, especially during difficult situations.

Often, it is necessary for a young woman leader to make certain sacrifices during this collaborative exercise. For example, during a student’s junior year, she is likely going to face challenges trying to balance the needs of schoolwork, friendships, athletics, college applications, and other critical areas. Finding the right balance will require input from others and sound decision-making.

Developing the ability to make difficult decisions – even if they require a level of personal sacrifice – will prove very useful in her personal and academic endeavors.

Key Building Blocks:
  • Confidently assume a position of leadership.
  • Recognize your interconnectedness with Earth and embraces your responsibilities for the children of all species.

Senior Year – Delegating 

For many blossoming leaders, delegation is one of the most challenging skills to embrace.

Many young women feel that in order to accomplish something, they must oversee every step of the process themselves. However, senior-year students who make an effort to listen, communicate, and collaborate with members of their community will find that it is easier to effectively delegate tasks to teammates.

For example, delegating certain parts of a senior project to other classmates can help to safeguard against burnout, improve productivity, and ensure more effective leadership across the board. A willingness to trust your team is one of the most sure signs of a remarkable leader.

Key Building Blocks:
  • Celebrate life in a joyful, optimistic and productive manner.
  • Develop a deep commitment to social justice and making a difference in the world.

St. Agnes is Educating the Leaders of Tomorrow

By keeping these leadership skills at the forefront of their educational pursuits, St. Agnes students can develop the abilities they need to be successful while in high school, during college, and later on in life as a professional.

St. Agnes offers individualized support for students looking to build their leadership skills. We also regularly schedule young women’s leadership events and other programming designed to develop strong, compassionate leaders.

Students seeking additional support on their journey to becoming young women leaders can reach out to the Student Success Center. Work with our team to hone and implement your leadership skills.