Young Women in Leadership (YWIL) is a program created by Girls Inc. of Greater Indianapolis, serving high school girls, grades 9-12, that focuses on leadership development and college and career preparedness. Every year, we thank our YWIL girls for their extraordinary commitment throughout the year, which is often evident in all they balance from school work, sports and extracurricular activities, in conjunction with their involvement in Girls Inc. Indy.

This year, on the evening of Monday, May 13, we hosted our annual YWIL End-of-Year Celebration at DeveloperTown to honor all the young girls who participated in the program, including the four graduating seniors! It was a beautiful evening, with touching speeches shared by several YWIL girls who reflected on their time in the program and how Girls Inc. Indy has positively impacted their lives.

If you weren’t able to be in attendance on Monday evening, please read these short, yet powerful excerpts below from two YWIL girls’ speeches. One is shared from a returning participant who reflects on an experiential learning opportunity on our first ever Advocacy Day with Girls Inc. Indy and Cummins, one of our corporate partners. The second includes reflections from a new YWIL girl and her first year in the program:

Earlier this spring, four young women from Girls Inc. were given a chance to attend Advocacy Day with women from Cummins and other young women from Girls Inc. branches across Indiana. The goal of the entire day was to educate young women across the state of Indiana about how to advocate for themselves and just causes that they cared for by understanding how our state and local governments function as means to voice our concerns and raise questions to the people who represent us. Cummins (hosted) a breakfast first thing that morning where they invited multiple women from across the company itself to host a Q&A panel about what it meant for them to advocate. Some of the women discussed career-related moments where they’d needed to stand up for themselves or others. There were even a few moments where women spoke personally about moments of sex discrimination, a problem Girls Inc. challenges every single day. I believe that our Hoosier girls spoke proudly and confidently with these role models and it was yet another exercise in YWIL’s preparation strategy for girls to learn and establish connections with women they can trust and connect with.”

  • Returning Participant, YWIL, 2018-2019

This 2018-2019 school year was my first time participating in YWIL and being a part of Girls Inc. Indy as a whole. Girls Inc. Indy has become supplemental to my passions and concerns by surrounding me with women who defied the aberrance of societal norms, particularly regarding bigotry, opposition and prejudice. I’ve learned so much from women in positions of leadership. Through this program with these phenomenal ladies, I have experienced inimitable joys, laughter and opportunities, most in which I never thought I cared for or needed.”

  • New Participant, YWIL, 2018-2019

Congratulations again to all of our strong, smart, and bold Young Women in Leadership!

If you are interested in learning more about YWIL, desire to partner with us, or want to submit an application to join the 2019-2020 YWIL program, please visit: https://girlsincindy.org/programs/young-women-in-leadership/