Our Young Women in Leadership (YWIL) program encourages young women to seek male-dominated leadership roles, further their education, develop skills to promote career readiness and understand the need for financial independence.

In February, YWIL participants took a trip to Vertellus Specialties in celebration of National Engineers Week to inspire girls to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).  The girls were hosted by Linda Hicks, Girls Inc. Board Chair, and Vice President of Global Technology for Vertellus Specialties. On the site visit, YWIL girls had the opportunity to ask questions of a panel of female engineers, chemists, and IT professionals. The girls also toured the Vertellus Specialties campus and observed the process of testing chemicals.

This month, YWIL girls attended college and job readiness workshops to prepare them for their bright futures. Our program specialist, Jamila Fann, and our program support coordinator, Natalie Woods, led the workshops.

College Readiness Workshop

The program began with college readiness. YWIL girls learned about applying for scholarships using the top five scholarship search engines. The program overviewed the timeliness of these search engines, how private they are, and what makes each search engine unique. Girls learned what information they would need for scholarship applications, as well as the importance of deadlines. In terms of applying for college and scholarships, it is important to be ahead of the game!

During the job readiness portion of the program, YWIL girls discussed job searching, completing applications, and interview etiquette and preparation. Girls reflected on what their likes and dislikes are, in addition to knowing who they are as a person. This self-awareness will help the girls discover the type of work environment in which they will find success and fulfillment.

The girls learned how to develop work references by volunteering and joining clubs, as well as the difference between a personal and professional reference. The program highlighted the different types of questions that may be asked on an application.

Next, there was an open discussion about what the girls thought employers were looking for, as well as what qualities they look for in supervisors and co-workers.

Girls were given examples and descriptions of the five levels of business attire and discussed what to wear during an interview. They also learned important tips on handshakes, eye contact, body language, and attitude. Next, girls were given sample interview questions to practice.

On March 22nd and 23rd, YWIL participants travelled to four Indiana colleges. In our next issue, we will share what they learned about planning for their futures!

We would like to thank our YWIL funders, Comcast Foundation, Interactive Intelligence Foundation, and Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust for their support of our programs to inspire girls to be Strong, Smart, and Bold.