Teenage girls from four area high schools recently converged on Lehigh Carbon Community College, Tamaqua Campus, to gain insight on their futures and to help Tamaqua Business and Professional Women's Club celebrate National Business Women's Week.

While the material presented seemed to focus on their personal care, the topics actually led to broader scopes geared to steer girls in the right direction for the future.

Approximately 50 teens attended the morning program from Carbon Career and Technical Institute, Tamaqua Area High School, Mahanoy High School and Marian High School.

They learned about personal style from Maureen Donovan, assistant director of leadership and workforce development at LCCC. Her topic was, "What's Your Style," which covered more than clothing and delved into why they might react to people and events in a certain way.

They also heard from Leslie Bartholomew, career specialist, who spoke about "What's In Your Closet," which focused on building their resume and the importance of community involvement.

The third topic was "Shoe In, Start Here Go Anywhere," presented by LaKeisa Thorpe of Albright College; and the final presentation was "Your Best Accessory: Present Day Do's and Don'ts," presented by Marlyn Kissner, vice president of Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber.

Cecil Connelly-Weida, associate dean of planning at LCCC, introduced local professional women who shared their stories of how they got to where they are now.

The youth portion of the day concluded with a panel discussion that gave the girls plenty of opportunity to seek answers to their questions.

The ladies portion of the event was a "A Ladies Night Out," held in the evening to offer recognition to women who are successful in business and the community. Many of the women had tables showcasing their organization or business and gave brief talks on how they got started and what motivated them to succeed.

Larissa Verta, LCCC associate academic dean, thanked the women for attending the event and sharing their business insights with the girls.

Tracy Perry, a volunteer at Stonehedge Gardens, said that women should reach out into the community and become volunteers. She spoke of her experiences as a volunteer at Stonehedge Gardens, which she says gives her joy.

Kim Grant of the Tamaqua Community Art Center and Leona Rega, local artist, shared information that included various programs at the art center.

On display was a quilt, which is shown around the state which will not be finished until women earn the same amount of money as men.

Donavan said that the seminars were designed to bring women up to the next level.

"I also want to encourage women to volunteer," she said.

"These young women are the next leaders. It's our responsibility to bring them to the next level. I keep telling these young women in high school to not make a decision on their college based on what their present boyfriend wants."

Cindy Sabol, district 9 director, said that BPW offers women many opportunities to make an impact in the world. She noted that there are many reasons to join the organization.

She said that the organization helps others, provides a way to meet other women and make lasting friendships, provides scholarships for deserving students and serves the community.