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Day One of Future Leaders Holds Lots of Surprises for High Schoolers

For the 6th consecutive year, our high school girls participated in Future Leaders, a two-day mentorship experience hosted by Rakuten and the Golden State Warriors that affords girls professional development skills, a tutorial and subsequent shopping spree for professional clothing and valuable career shadowing opportunities.   

On day one, the girls were awe-struck to be welcomed by Golden State Warriors Point Guard, Chris Paul, who encouraged them to fully embrace all aspects of Future Leaders over the next two days. 

Each girl was paired with two mentors—one from Rakuten and one from the Warriors—with whom they would learn from and connect with for the duration of the experience.  After getting acquainted with their mentors, everyone gathered for a powerful, all-women panel hosted by NBC7 newscaster, Gloria Rodriguez, that included Jada Paul, founder of Curated by Alexis P, Tiffany Williams, Chief Operating Officer for Steph Curry’s companies SC30 and Thirty Ink, and Jess Smith, President of the WNBA Golden State Warriors.  

The panel showed the girls that women who look like them can be in powerful positions, they can be in positions in traditionally male-dominated industries, and the differing backgrounds and journeys each panel member described that led them to where they are today. The floor was later opened for the girls to ask questions and share about themselves –an exercise in positive risk-taking and leadership development as many of the girls had never spoken in a room full of professional adults.  

(L to R) Adrienne Down Coulson, COO, Rakuten, Gloria Rodriguez, Newscaster, ABC7, Jada Paul, Founder, Curated by Alexis P, Tiffany Williams, COO, SC30 & Thirty Ink and Jess Smith, President, WNBA Golden State Warriors 

The girls and their mentors enjoyed a sunny terrace lunch before a surprise shopping spree, courtesy of Nordstrom, where they were challenged to find clothes for a professional environment that they would wear on day two of the experience. Many of the girls stepped outside of their comfort zones both in turning the focus onto themselves and in making fashion choices that remained true to themselves but that were also appropriate for a future workplace.  


With their mentors by their sides for encouragement and guidance, all the girls had a productive and successful day.  

Hear what some of the girls had to say about their day one experience: 

“The most valuable thing I learned today was to be confident and to not limit yourself. Ask questions!”  – Astrid 

“I learned that there are so many careers out there that we don’t even know about, and we need to put ourselves out there and learn as much as we can.” – Yaneli 

“I’m very grateful for being able to come to this experience. I learned that confidence is key and that being open to new ideas and new styles is super fun!” – Carla 

“The most valuable thing I learned today was speaking up! Don’t be afraid to ask for help.” – Dianey 

“I am very grateful for this opportunity. My favorite part was learning from the panelists and my mentors…I also liked the shopping!” – Cassadina 

Stay tuned for what was in store on day two!