SOUTH ORANGE, NJ – Seton Hall University’s Marriage & Family Therapy Program is proud to co-sponsor the Fourth Annual Celebration of Womanhood “Fabulous Me” Conference, hosted by The Family Service Bureau of Newark and funded by the New Jersey Governor’s Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (JJDP) Committee, which is administered by the New Jersey Juvenile Justice Commission.

The celebration, “Strengthening the Leader within Me,” is dedicated to the education and empowerment of young women, aged 12-17.  It will be held Friday, June 12, from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the University Center at Seton Hall University in South Orange.

“The focus of the conference is on providing these young women with the tools that will allow them to be future leaders in their communities,” said Ben Beitin, associate professor of marriage and family therapy and chair of professional psychology and family therapy at Seton Hall.  “Support for the advancement of young women is in accordance with the mission of the marriage and family therapy programs and the College of Education and Human Services. We advocate for the healthy development of young women and pursue a broader commitment to foster and support healthy marriages and families as part of our overall goal to create stronger communities in New Jersey.”

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The keynote speaker for the day is New Jersey native Peggy Merck of Jessica Simpson Fashion Collection, who will address the theme of leadership and share her journey to success.

Born and raised in Vernon Township, Merck is director of public relations for the Jessica Simpson Collection and will discuss topics ranging from Amy Cuddy’s famed TED Talk on “power poses” to her personal journey breaking into the fashion industry in New York City. Teens at the event will be able to share their insights and moments from the day using the hashtag #QUEENMODE.

The second half of the day includes breakout sessions where the topics range from Self-Esteem Building, Healthy Relationship Building, Life after High School, and Goal Setting. The closing ceremony is set to have an extraordinary interactive demonstration led by African Drummers, who will leave the young women feeling unified and empowered as they bring home a new sense of what fabulous female leadership means to them.

Girls ages 12-17 who are interested in attending the conference are encouraged to contact Ms. Marykaterine Mitchell, conference planner, at 973-412-2056 or via email at