Women's Empowerment Panel

Hosted by the Rho Kappa National Honor Society, the panelists were accomplished women from different professions, backgrounds, and careers including Kelly Blanchfield ’05 (Federal Bureau of Investigation), Maria Daidone (General Manager, The Estate at Florentine Gardens), Jill Garripoli, DO (Pediatrics), Unjeria C. Jackson, MD (Obstetrics/Gynecology/Maternal Fetal Medicine), Lisa Marie Latino (Executive Producer, Long Shot Productions/HIP NJ/Author), and Melissa McCarthy (RFX Circle Achiever, Rodan & Fields)  

Here at ICHS, we encourage our girls to be confident and believe that they can be anything they dream to be and MORE. The panelists were so inspiring and offered so much information and advice that the girls will take with them for years to come and beyond.” shared Nicole Mineo, Director of Enrollment. 

With over 100 guests in attendance, moderator Maria Elisa Escobar ’18, Rho Kappa president, delivered questions to the panelists and welcomed questions from the audience as well. The group participated in many lively discussions on topics such as equality in the workforce, believing in your dreams, misconceptions about successful women, and so much more.  

“We’ve heard positive feedback from the students, parents, faculty, and guests, and it wouldn’t be possible without all of the amazing women that were part of our panel. What an inspirational night to encourage our young women.” added Renee Hyle Gitto ’91, Director of Advancement

The messages of encouragement and advice were shared by all participants and a few samples are below, as they were just too good not to share with a larger audience.

“Hold the vision trust the process.”

Jill Garripoli, DO

“Women need mentors and advisors and people who believe in you – a good network of support”
Unjeria C. Jackson, MD


“I took a different path than most and on my terms and my rules and learned that through internships, hard work and believing in myself.”
Lisa Marie Latino


I work longer hours than most to learn every facet of my business to prove myself as a woman in a very male dominated world.  I’m not going to let anyone stop me – I just keep moving forward.”
Maria Daidone


“I work harder to prove myself in a very male dominated field, but I welcome the challenge and rise to be my best!”
Kelly Blanchfield ‘05


“My company was started by women is led by women and now women are deciding their own business on their own terms. Powerful women are amazing and very intimidating; do not be afraid of that power.”
Melissa McCarthy