1,000 Dreams Fund’s First-Ever Student Leadership Summit Was a Hit!

We hosted our inaugural 1,000 Dreams Fund Student Leadership Summit on July 16, 2022, in Washington, D.C., and it was a hit!

Bringing together student leaders from across the country, the Summit was designed to be an empowering day filled with networking, leadership skill-building, and inspiring speakers. We also offered a limited number of travel stipends to help several students attend this incredible event that included a pre-event welcome breakfast hour, interactive activities, and a post-event rooftop networking hour.

Photo of our students at our pre-Summit breakfast

The Summit kicked off with a Fireside Chat, featuring our founder & CEO Christie Garton as the moderator and one of the organization’s first-ever 1,000 Dreams Fund scholarship winners, Cindy Wang, who shared advice on finding success in the working world. 

Summit networking

Keynote speaker Katherine Sears, Communications Director for U.S. Congressman Dave Joyce, took the podium next, providing an inspiring message about achieving meaningful success while preparing to lead America’s next generation. 

Katherine Sears, Keynote speaker, Communications Director for U.S. Congressman Dave Joyce

Following the Keynote, a panel of young professionals gathered to provide advice on how to deal with the challenges of being a young woman in the workplace, steps to getting that first job, dealing with rejection and much more.

Young Professionals Panel
Francisca Li, 1,000 Dreams Fund Student Advisory Board Member, speaking at the Summit

The day wrapped with an introspective activity that helped the Summit participants identify their personal strengths upon which to build their careers in the years to come.

Overall, our Summit participants walked away with actionable advice, new friends and fond memories of an inspiring day of learning.

“Networking with and learning from professionals and other young women from around the country was an empowering day at 1,000 Dreams Fund’s Student Leadership Summit,” says American University student Payton Ziegler. “During one activity, I was able to discover my own strengths and how to use them effectively in the workplace. This day of in-person connection was a much-needed reminder of how inspiring it can be to interact and make new connections with other women.”

We can’t wait to gather again for our next Student Leadership Summit in 2023!

Here’s a quick look at our esteemed panelists and guests who were in the mix:

 Fireside Chat 

  • Christie Garton, Founder & CEO, 1,000 Dreams Fund (moderator)
  • Cindy Wang, Legal & Compliance Analyst, Blackstone Group


  • Jessica De Jesus, Senior Account Executive, Edelman
  • Chelsea Larsuel, Program Manager, 1,000 Dreams Fund (moderator)
  • Ashley Maddox, Kitchen and Bath Designer, District Cabinets 
  • Sithara Thalluri, Student in Physicians Assistant Program, Long Island University
  • Katherine Waltman, Analyst, Portfolio Operations, Blackstone Group

Featured Speakers

  • Mimi Li, Head of Analytics & Insights, Stripe 
  • Adaora Ogbue, Senior Manager, Investment Strategy, The Equality Fund
  • Darrell Pinto, Senior Consultant, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC)
  • Angela Santiago, Senior Manager, Marketing & Customer Experience Transformation Lead, Accenture Song
  • Dr. Amitabh Sharma, CEO, Stem Academy of USA
We were also joined virtually by members of our Board of Directors and Advisory Council (pictured: Christie Garton, video of Adaora Ogbue)