Girls Inc. of Greater Indianapolis is thrilled to announce the kickoff of a new pilot program for high school girls—Young Women in Leadership (YWIL). This invitation-only program recognizes girls in grades 9 through 12 who have demonstrated exemplary leadership qualities. For the first year, 15 girls have been selected through nominations by six current high school partners.

Young Women in Leadership is a component of our 2014-2016 strategic plan, emphasizing deeper engagement with girls sustained throughout their high school years. YWIL will help girls develop life skills that promote college and career readiness while providing them with an empowering community of peer and adult mentors.

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Girls in YWIL will attend Saturday meetings facilitated by Girls Inc. staff each month. They also will participate in traditional Girls Inc. curriculum combined with unique opportunities to interact with Indianapolis women leaders. Girls will learn practical lessons in leadership, make individual plans to achieve their goals, and gain experience in public speaking, networking, and resume writing.

The girls will also engage with the community through local field trips, a college tour, and community service. Thanks to a generous gift of the Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust in honor of Harriet Ivey, four participants will have the unique opportunity to travel to Washington, D.C., as part of an annual event hosted by Girls Inc. National.

We’re excited for the launch of our newest initiative to prepare girls to be healthy, educated, and independent. We will keep you posted about the YWIL girls’ journey throughout the year.