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Young Women's Leadership Institute of St. Lawrence County Invites Students to Community Connections Conference

The Young Women's Leadership Institute (YWLI) of St. Lawrence County will welcome hundreds of college students to the 2015 Community Connections Conference on Nov. 6 and 7.

Mary PetersonYWLI is a coalition of organizations in the St. Lawrence Valley that supports the leadership aspirations of young women. Founded in 2014, the institute supports college students by increasing awareness of local and national leadership programs, offering mentoring connections to local women leaders, and organizing conferences and other events. YWLI also encourages college students to become mentors to high-school young women.

Keynote speaker Mary Peterson, commissioner of the Vermont Department of Taxes, will speak about her leadership journey at 4 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 6, at the Kingston Theater at SUNY Canton. Her talk is open to the public.

Peterson served in the Vermont House of Representatives from 2002 to 2008. She was clerk of the Ways & Means Committee for all three of her terms and involved in numerous major tax bills. She also was chair of the Joint Legislative Council for the 2007-08 session.

Prior to serving in the House of Representatives, Peterson was chair of the selectboard of Williston, Vt., and also served on the board of directors of the Vermont League of Cities and Towns.  She returned to private legal practice in 2008 with the Burlington, Vt., firm of Spink & Miller, having worked previously as an attorney with the Vermont Department of Public Service and a Boston, Mass., law firm.

People interested in attending Peterson's speech are encouraged to RSVP at .

All students in grades nine through 12 also are invited to attend the YWLI: High School Leadership Program from 3 to 5 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 6, at the SUNY Canton Student Center.

High School students will have the opportunity to network with college women leaders from the Associated Colleges and meet Peterson and two of her staff members prior to the keynote.

The deadline for students to register for the leadership program is Tuesday, Nov. 3, and they must RSVP at .

Clarkson University will host students from the Associated Colleges and Paul Smith's College for the conference on Saturday, Nov. 7. The second annual Community Connections Conference, "Women of Resilience," will feature more than 200 students and nearly 40 community mentors.

The day will consist of workshops, a luncheon with community mentors talking about hot topics, a panel and a networking event.

For more information, contact Beth Larrabee at .

YWLI is managed by a volunteer board and is funded through the Associated Colleges of the St. Lawrence Valley (ACSLV) and the St. Lawrence county chapter of the American Association of University Women (AAUW).

Clarkson University launches leaders into the global economy. One in five alumni already leads as a CEO, VP or equivalent senior executive of a company. Located just outside the Adirondack Park in Potsdam, N.Y., Clarkson is a nationally recognized research university for undergraduates with select graduate programs in signature areas of academic excellence directed toward the world’s pressing issues. Through 50 rigorous programs of study in engineering, business, arts, sciences and the health professions, the entire learning-living community spans boundaries across disciplines, nations and cultures to build powers of observation, challenge the status quo, and connect discovery and engineering innovation with enterprise.

Photo caption: Mary Peterson, commissioner of the Vermont Department of Taxes, will speak about her leadership journey at the Young Women's Leadership Institute Community Connections Conference.

[A photograph for media use is available at .]

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Annie Harrison, Director of Media Relations, at 315-268-6764 or]

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