The Distinguished Speakers Series introduces Potomac students to a broad array of viewpoints, subject matter and people, supporting the school's mission to foster each student's intellectual development, love of learning and strength of character. Over the years, a diverse group of very distinguished individuals shared their wisdom, stories, insights, and songs with us.
Calling All Crows: Music For Good
Rosetta Lee, Diversity Speaker and Trainer
Jonathan Darman, Prepare For The Unknown
Coley Andrews, Global Stewardship
After graduating from Potomac, Coley was living with his family in South Africa and tutoring a child who lived in extreme poverty and attended a school with no electricity or heat. At Coley's mother’s urging, he explored ways to help the child and others like him and came up with the idea for the library. Despite his age, Coley launched an ambitious fundraising campaign. "When you push yourself out of your comfort zone, opportunities will arise you might not have otherwise seen," he told the students.
Clara Beyer, Rising Social Media Star
Clara Beyer ’10 spoke with Upper School students about feminism and the creation of her popular Twitter account, Feminist Taylor Swift, in a January talk. She encouraged students to think critically about gender norms. “I'm not telling you to reject gender norms,” Clara said. “It’s more about being comfortable ignoring them and doing what makes you happy.”
Monique Pean, Jewelry Designer
She made jewelry pieces “almost as therapy” and began selling a few to stores. Retailers were soon asking to buy her designs. Nearly eight years later, she has several lines of jewelry that sell throughout the United States and in Japan, China, Saudi Arabia, and Canada. Oprah Magazine has called her “one to watch.”
Vanessa, before her death, was exploring setting up a nonprofit to support children and families in Haiti. Monique has picked up where Vanessa left off; her company helps to fund wells for clean drinking water in Haiti, Ethiopia, Nepal, and other developing countries. “Buying an engagement ring can pay for 20 people to have clean water for 20 years,” she said.