For the Raiders, investing in the next generation of women in sports starts locally.
Eighty girls flag football all-stars from various high schools around the Las Vegas Valley plus their coaches were welcomed into Intermountain Health Performance Center on Friday for the Raiders’ fourth annual Girls Empowerment Summit.
President Sandra Douglass Morgan kicked off the event by welcoming the young women into the Raiders’ team room, sitting in the same seats as the Silver and Black athletes do each day.
“To not let self-doubt stop you from trying to really achieve your dreams,” Douglass Morgan said of what she hopes the group took away from the discussions. “You’re not going to know if you like something until you try it. We’re really encouraging them to not look at what they don’t have or don’t know, but focus on what they can do to grow and learn and adapt.”
The young women got to hear not only from the team president, but from a panel comprised of senior members of the Raiders staff – Qiava Martinez, SVP, chief sales officer, and Piper Overstreet-White, VP, government relations – and General Manager of the Las Vegas Aces Natalie Williams.
Williams related to the young athletes as a former college volleyball and basketball player herself before winning a gold medal as part of the 2000 U.S. Olympic Women’s Basketball Team. She now serves as the first female African American GM in the WNBA.
Through years of growing her career to the point where she is now, her biggest piece of advice was to keep going even when things may seem challenging.
“The thing that we try to instill in them is that anything is possible. Believe in yourself,” Williams told Raiders.com. “Know that there will be hard days here and there, but you can accomplish anything.”