Regal Rams Freshmen Summit empowers Cypress Ridge girls

November 14, 2014

Keynote speaker DaRhonda Williams, certified life coach, tells Cypress Ridge freshmen girls they are conquerors during the opening session of the Regal Rams Freshmen Summit on Nov. 12.

Nov. 14, 2014—Cypress Ridge High School offered the Regal Rams Freshmen Summit for ninth-grade girls on Nov. 12, promoting leadership and other positive traits to approximately 400 young women.

Sponsored by the American Association of University Women (AAUW), the daylong program featured guest speakers addressing an assortment of topics.

Cypress Ridge assistant principal Stephanie Lyle organized the summit along with approximately 30 staff members on the committee in order to promote success throughout the school.

“We want to build leaders and teach the philosophy of optimism, opportunity and respect—for not only themselves, but each other, the school and community,” said Lyle, a third-year AP. “We feel like planting that seed will build off itself exponentially and spill into the community.”

Lyle said the plan is for the event to start among freshmen in the first year and eventually expand Regal Rams to the entire campus by year four.

Certified life coach DaRhonda Williams served as the keynote speaker, encouraging the Rams to stand tall, live, be conquerors and not accept defeat. Following the keynote, the freshmen rotated through five breakout sessions:

  • “My Future” – DaRhonda Williams;
  • “Appropriate Relationships” – Soul Singh, Cypress Ridge special education administrator;
  • “Women’s Health” – Dr. Kathy Nguyen, family physician;
  • “Never Give Up” – Jasmine Hicks-Burns, Cypress Ridge teacher; and
  • “How to Succeed in High School” – Ana Martin, Kahla Middle School principal.

Dr. Nguyen, a 2006 Cypress Ridge graduate who works in the residency program at Memorial Family Medicine in Sugar Land, said she was thrilled to return to her alma mater to speak.

“I am very proud and excited to show them that there is a product of the school out there doing great things,” she said. “I want to communicate that you can be successful no matter who you are or what you are.”

Lyle said that, above all, she hopes the long-term result of the Regal Rams summit is “positivity.”

“I hope they can look back and say that this was a good day, that they left with a good feeling and had a spark light inside of them,” Lyle said. “I want them to feel positive and comfortable with who they are.”


Cypress Ridge freshmen (L-R) Mackenzie Miller, Lynett Carrera and Cam Tien Nguyen collaborate on a group project at the Regal Rams event on Nov. 12.


DaRhonda Williams leads students in the “Ruby” group in the “My Future” breakout session.


Cypress Ridge freshmen Nicole Broussard and Zoe Burns participate in the “How to Succeed in High School” breakout session of the Regal Rams Freshmen Summit.


Kahla Middle School principal Ana Martin leads the “How to Succeed in High School” session.


Cypress Ridge special education administrator Soul Singh leads the “Appropriate Relationships” breakout session at the Regal Rams summit.


Dr. Kathy Nguyen of the Memorial Family Medicine residency program, a 2006 graduate of Cypress Ridge High School, leads a “Women’s Health” breakout session at the Regal Rams Freshmen Summit.


Cypress Ridge teacher Jasmine Hicks-Burns leads the “Never Give Up” breakout session in the gymnasium. 

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