Statewide Leadership Summit

GEM Statewide Leadership Summit

The GEM Leadership Summit is a three-day, statewide conference that brings together over 400 middle school girls that serve as GEM Ambassador Leaders and Adult facilitators from across Georgia. With training and tools received at the Summit, girls are empowered to lead GEM groups and create innovative programming for over 7,000 girls participating in GEM across Georgia.

The event is hosted by HealthMPowers, Boys and Girls Clubs of Georgia, Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta, Girl Scouts of Historic Georgia, and the University of West Georgia and made possible by support from our funding partners and summit sponsors.

GEM Summit Training Sessions & Workshops

Over the course of three days, girls attend a variety of workshops, learn from guest speakers, and participate in fun physical activity sessions. Throughout the Summit, girls make connections with other girl leaders from throughout the state and learn about a variety of topics that are critical to becoming a successful leader like:

  • Communication, internet safety and etiquette
  • Exploring, discovering, and leading new physical activities
  • Strengthening your emotional wellness
  • Fueling your body

Ready to Lead

GEM Ambassador Leaders immediately put their Summit training to good use by leading groups of 15-25 girls at their program site. Working together with an Adult Facilitator, groups create site specific physical activity and wellness programming based on girls’ individual preferences, motivators, and goals.

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2022 GEM Statewide Leadership Summit:

Making an Impact. Igniting Change.


June 24-26, 2022 | University of West Georgia

Over the course of three days, hundreds of GEM Ambassador Leaders and Adult Facilitators from across Georgia came together to experience a fun-filled time of leadership training, wellness workshops, guest speakers, physical activity sessions, and more! The GEM Summit was an extraordinary, one of a kind event – preparing girls to lead the way to improve the health and well-being of their generation by taking action in their own communities to get more girls healthy and active. GEM Summit training and resources will impact over 7,000 girls participating in the GEM program statewide in 2022-23.

GEM Summit Keynote Speakers:

  • Dr. Tressa Kelly, First Lady of University of West Georgia
  • Candice Lofton, Youth Advocate
  • Aliayah Simmons, 2022 Georgia Youth of the Year, Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Georgia
  • GEM Leadership Team – Panel and Q&A

GEM Summit – Guest Workshop Facilitators:

  • Melissa Brillhart, Registered dietitian and certified health coach
  • Dr. Beverly Brown, Licensed professional counselor and professional school counselor
  • Christi Kay, Former President/CEO of HealthMPowers and national trainer for the CDC and the Presidential Youth Fitness Program
  • Debra Kibbe, Senior research associate at the Georgia Health Policy Center
  • Jennifer Heidorn, Lecturer, Department of Sport Management, Wellness & Physical Education, University of West Georgia
  • Vena Namukasa, Senior Manager of Girl Experience for Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta
  • Peter Stoepker, Assistant Professor of Health and Physical Education at the University of West Georgia

Summit Workshops: Leadership Development, Self-Assessments, Create a MOVEment, Fueling your Body, GEM Activity Showcase, Strong Minds

Physical Activity Sessions: Yoga, Martial Arts, Basketball, Free Play soccer, basketball, double-dutch jump rope, and volleyball.

Social Activities: Movie on the Lawn, Mural Art, Free Time, Dance Party/Silent Disco

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The GEM Leadership Team took the stage during the 2022 GEM Summit for an insightful panel discussion and Q&A session. This group of talented young ladies have been involved in all aspects of GEM, including planning and preparing for the GEM Summit. Attendees were left inspired by their wise words and passion to improve the health of middle school girls.

The GEM program will provide physical activity and leadership opportunities to approximately 18,000 girls across Georgia and motivate almost 200,000 middle school girls to get moving.

Our Fearless Girl Leaders

During our inaugural 2021 GEM Summit, the 14 girl leaders who helped to build the GEM program from the ground up, spoke during a panel session and shared insights, advice and guidance from their experience designing the program. Their leadership and hard work has paved the way for GEM to flourish in the hands of GEM Ambassador Leaders across the state. Watch the panel session to hear how they have been impacted by GEM.

Thank You to Our 2022 GEM Summit Sponsors!

Through strong partnerships and unique programming, GEM is empowering girls to create physical activity programs, improve fitness levels, promote long term health, and enhance their emotional well-being. Your support today will help us continue to deliver innovative youth-led programming to girls across Georgia.