Dominique Dawes Gives Keynote Speech About Enpowerment to Young Girls at Toyota Young Women Lead Conference

ASHLAND, KY. — Former Olympian and motivational speaker, Dominique Dawes, was the keynote speaker at the Young Women LEAD Conference held at Ashland Community and Technical College, on Wednesday, Oct. 16. The event was hosted by Toyota in partnership with SOAR, a leadership program for women. More than 500 high school juniors from nine eastern Kentucky school districts attended the event.

Photo shows Dominique Dawes, three time olympian, 10 year member of the U.S. National Gymnastic Team and Magnificent Seven member, speaking with Tricia Whitaker in a 2011 exclusive interview about her career from a young age

Photo shows Dominique Dawes, three time Olympian, 10 year member of the U.S. National Gymnastic Team and Magnificent Seven member, speaking to Tricia Whitaker in a 2011 exclusive interview.

Dawes, who spoke Thursday and Friday, was one of 10 speakers who talked to the girls. Dawes message supported the idea of encouragement and empowerment. She talked about her personal experience as a gymnast and as a young woman, noting how she learned about getting results through hard work and the importance of surrounding one’s self with an encouraging, but honest, support system.

“Have people around you that see more potential in you than you see in yourself,” Dawes said. “When the people who support me are being honest with me and telling me what I need to do to improve, I don’t enjoy it. At the end of the day, when you’ve achieved those goals, it is so good, but the journey can be tough.”

Video shows Dominique Dawes speaking about how she addresses young athletes

Dominique Dawes was a member of the 1996 “Magnificent Seven” team that won the Gold Medal for the USA. She is the first African-American woman to win an individual Olympic medal in artistic gymnastics, and the first black person of any nationality or gender to win an Olympic gold medal in gymnastics. If you would like to book Olympians and athletes like Dominique Dawes for a speaking engagement, personal appearance, endorsement, or corporate event, contact our booking agent for appearance and speaker fees or call 1.855.303.5450.

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