A Leadership Program for High School Girls Who Want to Make a Difference

Through mentorship, grants, and leadership training, HERlead inspires young women to begin their journey as the next generation of leaders.

The 2019 HERlead Application is NOW OPEN!

The HERlead Fellowship is a groundbreaking partnership between Vital Voices Global Partnership (“Vital Voices”), the preeminent non-governmental organization whose mission is to search the world for women leaders with a daring vision, then partner with them to make that vision a reality through grants, skill-building training, network expansion, mentorship and guidance – accelerating change on a global scale, and the Ann Taylor, LOFT, and Lou & Grey retail brands, which are operated by AnnTaylor Retail, Inc. (“ANN”), and indirect subsidiary of ascena retail group, inc (“ascena”).

The HERlead Fellowship is designed to equip young women with the leadership skills they need to effect global progress, invest in their communities – to date, more than 246 social impact projects received funding through HERlead Fellowship Grants – and continue their journeys as the next generation of leaders.  Here’s how it works:

WHAT IT IS:
A fellowship to provide leadership training to young women, empowering them to become the next generation of global trailblazers.

WHY PARTICIPATE:
Learn from inspiring women leaders from around the world and participate in Vital Voices’ signature leadership model training program. Attend the HERlead Leadership Forum and become eligible to win a HERlead Grant to put your ideas into action.

WHO SHOULD APPLY:
Girls in the 10th or 11th grade at a high school in the United States, Puerto Rico or Canada.

DATES & DEADLINES:
The HERlead Fellowship Application will open in January, and close Friday, March 8th. The 2019 Leadership Forum will take place June 24-27, 2019 in New York City.

DETAILS:
We are searching the country for young women leaders who are committed to reshaping the world and making positive and sustainable change. We will select 30 applicants to be the 2019 Fellows. If you are selected, you will join an elite group of rising stars, where you will be given the skills, tools, and training needed to realize your full leadership potential.

AS A HERLEAD FELLOW, YOU WILL:
• Participate in the HERlead Leadership Forum, a four-day leadership training program in New York City, from June 24-27, 2019.
• Obtain skills and networks to take on leadership roles in your schools and companies.
• Be mentored by global women leaders who are part of the Vital Voices Global Leadership Network, as well as AnnTaylor Retail Inc. Representatives.

For more information, an Overview of the Program, a Sample Application, Grant Information and HERlead Social Media Tips, see the HERlead TOOL KIT.

After completing the leadership training program, you will return to your community and have the opportunity to use what you learned at the Forum to create a project that will effect change. You are also eligible to receive a HERlead Grant that will further help you turn your ideas into action.

To be considered, you must demonstrate a strong commitment to leadership and potential for creating innovative solutions to problems in your community. You must have a proven track record in your academic work and interest in extracurricular activities. Are you up for the challenge? For questions about the application, please see APPLICATION FAQS.

Want information on amazing extracurricular, leadership and other opportunities for high school students—or suggestions for your student specifically? Contact us!

 

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10 Things to Know About Getting Into College

As juniors are now getting their college applications together, I’d like to share and encourage all students and parents of those nearing the process to give Eric Hoover’s 10 takeaways (all of which I have also seen be true) a close read.

Admissions decisions aren’t all about you.

When colleges choose applicants, they’re juggling competing goals, like increasing diversity and bringing in more revenue. Admissions officers aren’t looking for students who fit just one description — say, those who’ve earned all A’s or won the most awards. So don’t take rejection personally.

Grades and test scores still carry the most weight.

Colleges often say they want to get to know the real you, but that’s probably true only if your academic accomplishments (and the rigor of courses you’ve taken) pass muster.

You’re more than a number.

After colleges identify a big batch of students with outstanding credentials, differences among them become more important, admissions deans say. Among some of the attributes they tell me they would like to see evidence of (in essays, extracurricular activities, recommendations) are: leadership, risk-taking, emotional intelligence, fire for learning, critical thinking, curiosity, empathy, optimism, grit, perseverance and the ability to overcome obstacles.

Express your authentic self.

Overwhelmed by slick, boastful essays, colleges are eager for what they call “authentic” glimpses of applicants — their experiences, passions and goals. Some deans believe they’ll get deeper insight through alternative formats like videos, pictures, audio files or documents (an Advanced Placement English paper, maybe). A handful of prestigious schools, including Yale, the University of Chicago, Pomona College, Reed College and the University of Rochester, recently introduced this option. As with essays, too much polish is no good, deans say, so you might think twice about hiring a professional videographer. At Yale, about 400 applicants (out of nearly 33,000) for this year’s freshman class sent in something in an alternative format. In at least one case, the submission — a video showing leadership and impact on others — was, the dean told me, a “difference maker.”

Diversity counts.

Are you a first-generation or low-income student? Many colleges are trying to increase access, so it can help to emphasize your background — and how your personal story relates to your achievements — in essays and interviews. Admissions officers are thinking harder about socioeconomic context, such as the quality of an applicant’s high school, to better understand the opportunities they’ve had and the challenges they’ve faced.

But money does matter.

At many colleges, financial circumstances come into play. Being able to pay all or some of the freight is a bonus. And some qualified students of limited means might get rejected for no reason other than lack of money.

Geography is (partly) destiny.

Many selective colleges want students from all over, ideally from all 50 states. Last year’s presidential election illuminated the urban-rural divide, which some colleges have been trying to bridge by paying closer attention to promising applicants from less-populous areas. Generally, a Northeastern college will look more favorably on an applicant from Montana than an equally strong one from the Northeast.

Legacies aren’t a shoo-in.

Legacy status certainly helps, but big-name colleges reject plenty of these applicants. Don’t assume Mom or Dad’s connections alone will get you in.

Do (real) good.

Turning the Tide” urges admissions offices to reward applicants for sustained community service. And some colleges, such as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, are taking a closer look at what applicants have done to help others, be they neighbors or family members. You don’t have to fly to Belize to do good (admissions officers are often skeptical of these fleeting trips). Showing up to tutor someone at the library each week might be even more impressive, and rewarding.

Colleges want to be your first choice.

About one in five colleges allot “considerable importance” to “demonstrated interest,” whereby applicants convey their willingness to attend the college they’re applying to. Open those emails. Connect with admissions officers. Let them know when you visit campus. Only those who are sure about their first choice and don’t need to compare financial aid packages should choose the strongest expression of demonstrated interest: applying early decision, which is binding.

Full article here.

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Forte Foundation Events for College Women

Calling all college women (not only business majors!)! Check out these awesome Forte events!

FORTÉ COLLEGE TO BUSINESS LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE

March 31 & April 7, 2017
Designed for freshmen and sophomores, the Forté College to Business Leadership Conference introduces you to women business leaders from top companies that offer summer internships and entry-level opportunities for college grads. Get a jump-start on your career by strengthening your resumé with us. You don’t need to be a business major to attend.

FORTÉ COLLEGE FAST TRACK TO FINANCE CONFERENCE

March 24, 2017
Do you enjoy working in an exciting and fast-paced environment, researching options and making recommendations? In this one-day conference, you’ll explore a multitude of financial careers including stock analysis, portfolio management, and working with private clients. You will learn by “doing,” build leadership skills, and expand your network while you are introduced to rewarding careers in investment management. Take advantage of this unique opportunity.