The businesswomen of the not-too-distant future are high school students today, and the Garden State Woman Education Foundation is hoping to reach out to them. The foundation will host a Business and Leadership Academy at the Wilson Elser law firm in Florham Park from Monday, through Friday, August 11 through 15, to educate and inform high school girls about steps they can take to plan their college and professional careers. For more information, visit www.gardenstatewoman.com, call 908-879-7143, or E-mail jchapman@gswoman.com. Cost: $525 per student.

The academy is led by Judy Chapman, co-founder of Garden State Woman Education Foundation. Her business experience includes working with a startup software company, working in marketing and communications for hospitals, and helping run a family-owned race horse stable in her 40-year career. Her co-founder and husband, Jack Killion, has founded several businesses over his 40-year career, and has degrees from Yale and MIT.

The academy’s teachers and speakers include leaders from business and other arenas, including executives from large companies. Six students and recent graduates from colleges including Harvard and Wharton will also participate in the program. The academy grew out of a one-day conference that Chapman and Killion held at Rutgers Business School in May.

“It’s our experience that very few teenagers (young women as well as young men) have any real understanding of ‘business,’” Chapman wrote on the Garden State Woman website. “As a result, typically business is not in their thinking when they are trying to make their college selections, pick their majors and think through their career futures. That’s too bad since America certainly needs strong business leaders, particularly women.”

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