Local non-profit The Dream Queen Foundation recently hired a new executive director to bring their Gals Lead teen program to all high schools in the Southern Maryland region. Their new director Maryanna Lanham formerly acted as the club’s secretary, program facilitator, and network leader. The board felt Maryanna had the organization and the fire to bring their mission to the forefront of the community. Maryanna is the first director hired by the organization and will have to pave the path for future leaders.
We took a few minutes to interview Maryanna during her busy schedule to get to know her a bit better and see what makes her tick.
Why did you want to lead the Dream Queen Foundation?
I have been a dedicated volunteer for over five years and after a pause in my financial services business, I realized I now had the proper time to truly dedicate myself to the foundation. Leading in this role will allow me to get the messaging out to the community and I want to shout our mission from the rooftops.
If I took one of your current direct reports out for coffee to get the real skinny on you, what would they say?
I am the only full-time employee and am blessed with volunteers who are as dedicated as I am. I think they would say that they are surprised at how much I have accomplished so far and are excited to see where we go next. I do crack a lot of jokes and try to keep meetings light and fun.
It’s six months into your tenure. How will the board know they made a great hire?
They will see successful fundraising events to bring the club to the high schools in all three counties. The board will also see a surge in volunteerism and word of mouth about our programs.
What exactly is the Gals Lead Teen Mentorship Program?
The program helps young women learn things I wish I knew when I was 15. We are helping these girls to empower themselves and live their best lives. I feel this will be a big win in the battle against mental illness in our community and is necessary for the growth of young women.
What are some final words you would like to say to our readers?
First, find something you love and believe in. You are perfect exactly the way you are, and you can move mountains. You are where you are supposed to be right now. Your circumstances don’t define you. Your decisions are what make you who you are. Help me help the teen girls in our community overcome obstacles and encourage them to make their dreams come true. You can start by joining us at our annual Gals Lead Veteran’s Day Festival, an event I hold near and dear to my heart as my father is a veteran.
Dream Queen Foundation is hosting their annual Gals Lead Veteran’s Day Festival on Nov. 11 at the Port of Leonardtown and the adjacent park from 1-5 p.m. directly following the annual Veterans Day Parade in the Leonardtown Square. We invite you to come out to this free event, support our cause, and enjoy a wonderful day full of bands, vendors, veterans, food, and more!
Sign Up for Gals Lead Today!
The Dream Queen Foundation’s signature program for teen girls helps develop confidence, connection, and career clarity to live their best life. Girls gain the clarity and confidence needed to create intentional career paths they love – ones that align with their passion and purpose. Highlights of the program include guest speakers, vision boards, personality assessments, motivation, inspiration, and a certificate of completion for college or employment applications. There is no cost for the girls to join.