With the idea of empowering women in mind, Carmel High School juniors Maisy and Madison Bockus created the Legacy Club this past fall, which on Jan. 13 hosted a panel of successful local business women such as Casey Lucius, a Pacific Grove councilwoman and recent congressional candidate, and Carrie Panetta, a judge for the Monterey County Superior Court, to speak to CHS students.
Also answering questions on the panel were Kate Daniels, a CHS graduate and founder of the Women’s International Perspective; Kathryn Kane, a clinic manager at Doctors on Duty; Janet McAthie, the vice president of Carmel Roasters Inc.; and businesswoman Laura Ferree.
The Bockus sisters created the club in hopes of leaving a lasting legacy of woman empowerment at CHS for future female generations. The twins saw a lack of unity among girls on campus and took the initiative to try and change that.
“Our club rests on three principles: service, success, and support,” Madison Bockus says. “We want this community to be able to help each other and promote these principles.”
The panel, attended by about a hundred students and district staff members, discussed a range of topics from how the women balance family life and their careers to their accomplishments, academics and words of inspiration for young women.
“The purpose of this panel discussion is to allow students to learn more about the powerful lives of these women and to encourage young women to become strong, successful leaders,” Maisy Bockus says.
The panel members discussed what shaped their thinking, challenges they have faced in their career, advice they have for young women in the audience and current issues regarding women’s rights.
“We invited speakers that would show that there are successful woman out there, and that they can be a supporting arm to young girls’ futures,” Maisy Bockus says.
Questions asked regarded prejudices women face due to their gender and people who have left an impact on their lives. Panetta discussed the issues that she has seen in her field of work as a judge for Monterey County and her hopes for change.
“You don’t see 50 percent of the partners in the legal field in leadership positions being women,” Panetta says. “That is what we really need to address, and hopefully your generation will be able to counter that and find a way to balance home and work life.”
Casey Lucius shared advice that she received from her mother when she was a girl that inspired her throughout her career: “She told us one thing: that we could do anything, but there was one condition, and that was that we had to work for it.”
Students and staff who attended the conference gave a positive response.
“I thought that it was really cool,” junior Eva Reed says. “I thought they provided us good examples of how we should go forth in attaining successful careers.”
Madison Bockus hopes to foster a greater sense of community at CHS in addition to providing support for women on campus, adding, “We aspire to create a supportive community of females at Carmel High School who have the resources and opportunities for success.”