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Welcome to the Career Girls 2022 Preparing for College Virtual Camp. From September 22 – 24, Career Girls welcomed campers to the Preparing for College Virtual Camp. Campers learned what it takes to get into college from women experts in education and the college admissions process. Girls discovered how to write about their achievements and the power of presenting their authentic selves to college admissions officers from women experts at LinkedIn, and learned how to manage their stress and do their best during the college process from an acclaimed psychologist and professor from New York University. College Board guided girls through developing a “countdown to college” timeline and identifying their ideal college major and career options based on their interests. High school students from the Career Girls’ Girls Advisory Board shared what it’s really like to apply to college. Finally, girls also explored the different ways to pay for college, the benefits of special programs, and how they can offset college costs.

Career Girls Virtual Camp: Preparing for College 2022

Watch this short video to enjoy camp highlights.

Role Model Experts: Thursday

Royal Brown, sales and advertising professional
Royal Brown
I am a sales and advertising professional with a passion for storytelling and creativity. I graduated from Syracuse University with my bachelors and master’s degree in communications and advertising. I currently work for LinkedIn as an Account Executive helping clients optimize their advertising campaigns and build marketing strategies. I have 10 years of sales experience and really enjoy helping people solve problems. I enjoy yoga, my favorite movie is Remember The Titans, and I love to take photos!


Diane Duggan
Diane Duggan, PhD, BC-DMT is a licensed psychologist, board certified dance/movement therapist and dance educator.  From 1973 to 2013 she created and taught therapeutic dance programs for students with multiple disabilities, autism, learning disabilities, and emotional and behavioral disorders. Much of her work is based in choreography, and her students have performed at Lincoln Center, Central Park, South Street Seaport, St. Mark’s Church, NYU’s Frederick Lowe Theater, and the Apollo Theater. 

Dr. Duggan has created and taught graduate courses based on her work continuously since 1978. She has been teaching in the Dance Education M.A. program at New York University since 1994 and teaches in the 92NY Dance Education Laboratory and Dance Therapy programs.

Dr. Duggan has written book chapters and journal articles on her work. She is co-author of Dance Education for Diverse Learners. She was the co-executive producer of the film Dance Therapy: The Power of Movement.  She is on the editorial board of the National Dance Education Organization journal Dance Education in Practice and is a member of the Dance/NYC Task Force on Dance and Disability.  Dr. Duggan received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the New York State Dance Education Association in 2016.


Darlene Chidi
I was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan to Nigerian immigrant parents. Growing up my family stressed the importance of doing the right things – getting an education and to always keep learning. Their advice has allowed me to build a strong foundation of values, morals, and standards. Ultimately, creating a woman that I am so proud of today.

I attended the University of Michigan-Dearborn and received my bachelor’s degree in information technology management. During undergrad, I worked at Rocket Mortgage (formerly known as Quicken Loans) and Henry Ford Hospital. There I was able to gain project management, customer service, and administrative skills. Once I graduated, I kicked off my career at Valassis and help was immersed in the world of print advertising. After several years there, I decided to cross over into digital advertising and accepted an Account Strategist position at LinkedIn.

I enjoy teaching! I love to see myself, my peers, clients, and team grow professionally and personally. I am a strong adopter in continuous development and self-reflection. I pride myself in having a growth mindset and challenging myself to learn more each day. With this devotion and a drive to develop others, I recently was promoted to a Vendor Partner Lead to work with a large team of Account Executives.  I train, coach, and advise the AEs on ad platform adoption with SMB customers.

Personally, I love trying something new each year. I like to tap into my younger self and select an activity that I always wanted to do as a child but was unable to. So far, I have taken art, golf, piano, acting and voice-over lessons. I like to joke and call myself the jack of all trades, master of none.  I find it fun to give things a chance, see how I feel about it, and then if I like it, continue to invest in it. I am currently pursuing voice-over acting and would like to launch a side hustle in it. I’m all about living life, having fun, and doing things that give my heart joy.

Heaven Powell
I grew up in Port Huron, Michigan running track and field, and eventually became a Nationally ranked collegiate athlete. During my time as a collegiate athlete, I was working toward my Bachelor’s degree at Northwood University in Business Administration, with a major in Business Management and a minor in Sports Promotions & Management and Marketing.

My professional skill set and interests include sales, logistics, management, leadership, marketing, and communications. In addition, I excel at strategic planning, as well as event and general operations.

As a part of the LinkedIn team today, I hold a role as a Small/Medium sized Business Account Director within the Talent Solutions segment of our business. My role is to act as a strategic partner to my book of business in order to co-create value and growth with my professional market insights. I am committed to being fully myself, leading with genuine curiosity, and creating positive experiences within my role.

I have 2 big dogs, love gardening, R&B music, and cooking for my friends and family.


Leola Collins
Leola Collins currently works at LinkedIn as a Member Safety and Recovery Consultant. The team works hard at keeping LinkedIn a safe space for our members. Leola takes pride in learning all that she can and helping others. In 2008, she was diagnosed with diabetes. She is a patient advocate for diabetes, offering what she has learned to others living with diabetes and those that support them. Leola learns all that she can so that she can be a resource for others in many aspects of life, willingly offering information needed to get the job done. She is a graduate of Central State University in Wilberforce, Ohio where she earned a Bachelor of Science Degree with a major in accounting. 


Role Model Experts: Friday

Autumn Blough
I’m Autumn Blough and I am a junior at Heritage. I participate in a multitude of clubs such as the National Math Honor Society, National Science Honor Society, National History Honor Society, Ladies of Distinction, and Varsity women’s lacrosse. I’m also the founder and president of the Heritage chapter of Construction Club/ Technology Student Association. My dream career is in Genetic Engineering and Research. I am a member of the Career Girls Girls Advisory Board.


Taryn Rakowski Career Girls Advisory Board Headshot
Taryn Rakowski
Taryn’s passion is music, particularly singing. She started singing in a choir when she was four years old and plays the guitar. Her favorite classes this year are history and physics. She has always been fascinated by the brain, and is interested in studying neuroscience in college. Taryn is a member of the Career Girls Girls Advisory Board.


Elisa Yuen
Elisa is a Principal Program Manager at Microsoft on the Xbox hardware team, focusing on building inclusive systems and internal processes for her team to scale to Xbox’s greatest ambitions of reaching 3 billion gamers one day. Her career spans close to 15 years across the consumer electronics industry, previously working on smartphone chips and wireless communications technology strategy. She has a B.S. in Electrical Engineering degree from UCLA and an MBA from the University of Washington. In her personal life, Elisa enjoys learning how to be a great mom, playing sports, and going on new adventures near and far.

Kathleen Weiss
Kathleen Weiss is the Director, BigFuture Partnership Development at College Board. As the Director of Partnership Development, Kat works with partners and organizations who support students in taking their next best step after high school through the resources and tools on BigFuture to plan for college, pay for college, and explore careers.  Kat joined the College Board almost eight years ago motivated by the mission of connecting students to educational opportunities, especially those who may not have access and support without College Board programs. She started at College Board on the State and Districts Partnership Team as an Educational Specialist for the Middle States Region and was promoted to Assistant Director before moving into an Associate Director position. In these roles, Kat expanded access to opportunities for thousands of students by working with more than 180 schools in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Maryland to increase SAT school day adoption, expand AP program offerings, and promote the use of CB resources.

Prior to the College Board, Kat spent over 7 years at the National Constitution Center, a history museum in downtown Philadelphia. There she served as Program Developer and Education Manager, managing educational partnerships, educational outreach, and the Center’s education marketing initiatives. Kat graduated Magna Cum Laude from Rutgers University with a Bachelor of Arts degree, majoring in Communications and History. She received a Master of Science degree in Learning Technology, with a focus in Game-Based Learning from Drexel University. 

Role Model Experts: Saturday

Claudia Rinaldi, Ph.D.
Claudia Rinaldi, Ph.D., is Chair and the Joan Weiler Arnow ’49 Professor of Education at Lasell University in Newton, MA. Her areas of research are the implementation of the Multi-Tier System of Supports (MTSS) framework with English learners, teacher education in bilingual special education, and diversifying the teacher pipeline. Claudia has authored many publications and a book called Practical Ways to Engage All Struggling Readers. She leads a graduate program in Teaching Bilingual Students with Disabilities and leads a college mentoring program called Pathways to Teacher Diversity.  She also serves as a thought leader and member of national centers funded by the U.S Department of Education focused on increasing research-based practices for schools.  Claudia believes that teachers must respond to the belief that all students can learn and succeed beyond barriers like culture, language, disability, poverty, and marginalization in our country and globally.


Ebony Payno
Ebony Payno, Founder of SWD, is NOT your AVERAGE high school counselor! She has been instrumental in assisting families throughout Georgia with their educational, professional and personal endeavors since 2003. She is originally from San Diego, California, and relocated to Georgia to earn her Master of Arts degree in School Counseling from Clark Atlanta University. She is also a proud member of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, ASCA, GSCA, NACAC, and founder of Succeed with DRIVE, LLC., a college and career readiness program. She is the award-winning author of Not Your Average Educator Resource Book and Not Your Average Scholarship Workbook. She brings her passion and high energy beyond the walls of her school building and into the local communities in which she serves, offering college/career workshops and individual/group counseling sessions. She stands firm on the notion that all youth have the ability to unlock their innate qualities of DRIVE: Determination, Relentlessness, Innovation, Vision, and Excellence.