Jessica Vance attended Auburn University and in addition to participating in honor societies and a social sorority, she studied abroad in Italy and interned with Sports Illustrated. Vance graduated Summa Cum Laude from Auburn University with a Bachelor's in the Science of Business Administration in Marketing and an International Minor in Human Sciences.
Vance previously worked as a freelance writer and in positions spanning from marketing to PR to advertising. She currently works as an Account Director at a growing Birmingham marketing technology company. Jessica was a chosen member of the Leadership Shelby Class of 2012 and is a member of MENSA.
Ashley Powell attended the University of Alabama at Birmingham graduating in 2009 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice and a minor in Legal Affairs. During her career as a student she was involved in various activities such as a social sorority, GangGreen (the student body spirit club), the Mock Trial Team, and Vice President of the Criminal Justice Student Organization. She is currently living in Homewood, Alabama and working as a BSA Analyst where she reviews cases for potentially fraudulently/illegal activity.
Ashley loves helping others and her community however she can. Besides volunteering for YWEC she currently volunteers for Autism Speaks, March of Dimes, and various community service programs around Birmingham. In her spare time she loves spending time with family and friends, going to the beach or curling up with a good book.
Chianti C. Cleggett is a national sales manager with the Greater Birmingham Convention & Visitors Bureau. A native of Birmingham, she is an enthusiast for her hometown and loves sharing her favorite new hot spots with first-time and returning visitors, as well as friends and family. Since 2013, she has had the pleasure of presenting a new and growing Birmingham!
A full-time journalist in her past life, Chianti still loves sharing the written word as a writer and editor. Her byline and feature pieces have graced the pages of varied publications, including Birmingham Magazine, Essence.com, The Crisis Magazine, and the Birmingham Times Newspaper, among others.
Chianti credits her grandmother, Annie Mae Cleggett, with instilling in her the importance of serving the community and making a difference. It has truly become Chianti’s life’s work. Her passion for helping students succeed became the catalyst for her creation of the Young Women’s Empowerment Conference (YWEC), which hosts an annual career-focused event for teen girls in Birmingham and surrounding areas. Since its inception in 2008, the conference has welcomed teens from states around the Southeast, including Arkansas, Georgia and Texas. In 2010, Chianti added a nine-month mentoring component for selected teens of past conferences. In addition to receiving one-on-one career education and hands-on experiences, the teens also serve as YWEC Ambassadors and help to empower their peers. It is Chianti’s mission to empower teens to dream bigger and strive for greater, while reaching out to serve the communities in which they live.
Through her work with YWEC, Chianti has garnered recognition from the Ford Foundation, the Best in Minority Business Awards, and the Birmingham Urban League Young Professionals. In 2013, she also received the NBC13 Making a Difference Award.
Chianti is an active member of the Jefferson County Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. She also serves as chair of the Scholarship Committee for the Birmingham Chapter of the National Pan-Hellenic Council and on the executive committee for the Birmingham Education Foundation. In her downtime, she enjoys traveling to new places (especially beautiful beaches), reading and sharing laughs with her family and friends.
Noelle Sheedy attended the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, where she was a member of Alpha Omicron Pi Sorority, and graduated in 2000 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Commerce & Business Administration. She went on to obtain her Master’s of Science in Healthcare Administration at UAB in 2012 while working there as a financial officer. Noelle resides in the city of Birmingham with her husband Chris, and is employed at the University of Alabama at Birmingham where she has worked for the past ten years, most recently in the Department of Anesthesiology as a Financial Officer.
Much of Noelle’s time is spent volunteering at various charitable organizations around Birmingham, and she currently serves on the Junior Board for the YWCA of Central Alabama; the Birmingham Holocaust Education Center Board and Birmingham Southern College’s Norton Board. A few of her favorites to volunteer for are the "Lunch is Served" Program at the Jimmie Hale Mission; First Light Shelter for Women; and Pathways Women’s Shelter.
mission & vision
2008 - The idea for the Young Women's Empowerment Conference is born and planning begins for the first conference in Spring 2009.
2010 - YWEC spread their empowerment by starting the YWEC ambassador program with past conference attendees.
Next Conference March 2, 2019!
If you're an extraordinary teen girl who is ready to celebrate the power you hold for today and the future, we invite you to apply now for YWEC 2018!
Who: Extraordinary young women ages 14-21 in and around Birmingham and the Southeast who are looking to connect with other teen girls, explore different career possibilities and get excited about their future!
What: Mingle with other teen girls! Meet the outstanding female speakers who will give you the scoop on college, money matters, and volunteering in your community, plus so much more!
When: The 10th annual Young Women's Empowerment Conference will be held in March 2018.
Where: Birmingham, AL
Why: Because as a fierce and fabulous teen woman, you hold the key to your own success! And, no matter what, you can have the future you desire as long as you get ready to GROW.
YWEC not only hosts an annual conference each spring, but welcomes attendees to interview for a spot in the YWEC ambassador group which meets and volunteers monthly in between conferences.
YWEC happens each year thanks to generous volunteers both behind the scenes and on the front line. Individuals, groups and companies are welcome to be part.
The goal of our conference is to draw aspiring girls from all backgrounds, education level and races and empower them for a bright future.
CHIANTI CLEGGETT, JESSICA VANCE AND NOELLE COOPER HAVE BEEN WITH THE CONFERENCE SINCE THE BEGINNING