Young Women's Leadership

Young Women’s Leadership Development Program

The Young Women's Leadership Program is dedicated to creating safe, caring and empowering spaces for young women between the ages of 15 and 25 from SRBWI's target counties so they mature to be committed, productive contributors to society.

The premiere activity of the program is the Unita Blackwell Young Women’s Leadership Institute, which in 2015 has reached its 10th year. The cohort of young women from all three states gathers in a central location in summer, the beginning of the Institute year, for an in-person session and reconvenes again at mid-year in each state. Across the year, the young women fellows—collectively and individually—completes a leadership development plan, engages in community-based organizing efforts, interacts regularly with mentors based on personal interests and goal and participates in workshops and trainings beneficial to their development as servant leaders wherever they may find themselves.

New Visions began as a digital filmmaking track that has broadened to include print publications and new media, including sound, art, technology and social media. Through training and guidance from media specialists, young women who are part of this track leave with marketable skills and honed talents.

A few Young Women’s Leadership Program highlights for those who have matriculated through the program are as follows:

  • A less than 1 percent teenage pregnancy rate in the past four years
  • A 100 percent high school graduation rate
  • More than 80 percent of participants leave high school to continue their education at two-, four-year or job-training institutions

To learn how you can help, contact Natalie A. Collier at ncollier@childrensdefense.org.

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