national youth leadership council

YAC Member Champions Gender Equality

NYLC is proud to recognize Youth Advisory Council Member Soua Thao as she is presented with the Sharon L. Doherty Student Leadership Award from the Women’s Center at the University of Minnesota. Nominated by peers and mentors, Soua’s work to advance education equity and stimulate youth leadership has deep connections to women’s issues, forged by large underlying factors like sexism, racism, and inequalities in socioeconomic status. Soua was honored with the award at the annual Celebrating University Women Awards Program, hosted by the Women’s Center late last month.

The Sharon L. Doherty Student Leadership Award recognizes a servant-leader from the University of Minnesota who demonstrates outstanding volunteer service and advocacy for women’s issues on campus or in the broader community. The Doherty Award was established in 1993 and honors the work of former doctoral student and University of Minnesota alumna, Sharon Doherty, whose exhaustive efforts led to the successful Commission on Women’s Students Initiative and continued University commitment to programming for women students. Soua’s work in the community has also created a sense of belonging to it, “All summer I had struggled with finding a place to call home. Now, after receiving support from my professors, friends, mentors, and family, I am happy to be a student at the University of Minnesota.”

As part of the Doherty Award, Soua will receive a $1000 grant to be used for attendance to a national leadership conference focused on the empowerment of women. “I am honored by this award and am so thankful to have an opportunity to attend a conference and to learn what others are doing about women’s issues and what I can do, too.”