Young Women’s Leadership Institute (YWLI) Inaugural Cohort Reconvenes for 2nd Powerful Session
This post was submitted by Val Swan, Early Leadership Consultant, Societal Advancement
The CCL Young Women’s Leadership Institute (YWLI) team, in partnership with Girl Scouts, Hornets’ Nest Council (Charlotte, NC) was thrilled to welcome back our inaugural Cohort of 28 outstanding high-school aged young women to the campus of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte (UNCC) this spring for a fun and action-packed weekend. Spending time on a college campus was a special opportunity, and they rose to the occasion!
Continuing the momentum from their first fall program together, the girls enthusiastically jumped into Session 2 and embraced the community learning environment alongside familiar faces as cohort bonds deepened. They participated in intersession work with accountability partners as they assimilated learnings from the prior session, and we were pleasantly surprised to see just how comfortable, vulnerable, and supportive they were able to be with each other right from the start.
Val Swan, Beth Hockman, Susan Reinecke, and Monique Steele facilitated the weekend-long program exploring themes of leading self, values, strategies for managing conflict, effective communication, women’s representation in the media, and how to explore and apply our passions and talents to make a contribution in our communities and world. The girls worked incredibly hard and were challenged to think differently and examine their identities, motivations, and actions.
We received stellar evaluations, and it is clear—halfway through our year-long program experience—just how much these young leaders are taking away from the time together:
“I am very enthusiastic about sharing my new knowledge with the world. I am so proud to be a girl!”
“I have always wondered what I would like to do with my life and how I can be a leader and now that I’ve identified my values, I can see what I really care about and am passionate for.”
“I learned that effective communication can improve relationships, strengthen friendships, and resolve conflicts.”
“I had never really considered using positivity in my response before, but now I endeavor to display positive energy throughout my daily life.”
“Being a leader is not about having the right answers, but the right questions.”
“I certainly will be more confident moving forward.”
One of the most impactful activities of the program was the participants’ collaboration on a montage of key leadership actions they came up with and proudly shared with the group at the close of the weekend. The girls were excited and energized to put these into practice back home in their daily lives.
The YWLI team is gearing up for Session 3 this summer with these inspiring young movers and shakers as they take what they are learning out into their communities to enact positive change.
YWLI needs you! The Young Women’s Leadership Institute gladly seeks and accepts funding support to allow us to bring programming like this to the next generation of leaders everywhere. To inquire or make a contribution, please contact Val Swan at firstname.lastname@example.org.