Travel & Lifestyle Conversations
Tomeka joins the 2019 Leadership American Program
It was my participation in the 2019 Leadership America program that enhanced my intrepid leadership skills. The Texas-based nonprofit, Leadership Women created the professional development program designed for women leaders from diverse backgrounds.
What’s interesting here, this program is for senior-level, executive women. Not only was I accepted into the program as a mid-level professional, but I also invested in myself by paying for the tuition and additional expenses without CNN’s assistance.
My cohort made up of about 40 women traveled to 3 cities to explore trends shaping the US and global business social environments and participated in panel discussions with leadership experts and icons.
Oddly enough, the one of the main challenges was finding the time to meet and engage with all the powerful women in my cohort. We spent roughly 2 ½ days together during each of the 3 sessions that were filled with group activities. I still didn’t get to connect everyone personally which is why many of us wished the program was longer.
The connections and camaraderie from the program developed quickly during our first session in DC. For the next gathering, I decided to coordinate and plan sightseeing excursions in the next city for the women before the kick-off to the program’s second session. An estimated 7-10 women participated, and we had a blast!
Our last session in Atlanta, I was asked to take the lead in organizing and executing a journalism focused panel discussion at the CNN Center for about 50 program participants and staff members. The group spent an hour listening and interacting with CNN’s Senior Vice President and Chief Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Officer, Johnita Due as well as CNN en Espanol Anchor Gabriela Frias. The panel was a huge success so much so that the feedback was unanimously positive.