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North Denver Women Who Lead Program - A Journey of 12 Weeks and a Lifetime

 

Getting out of your comfort zone is never easy. Daring to try something new, let alone challenge yourself to do it in a new environment, in a language that is not yours, with people you don’t know, and balance it with all the other responsibilities in your life. That is, one would say, a great feat to overcome.

And that is exactly what the 22 women from the neighborhoods of Globeville, Elyria, and Swansea (GES) did this year when they enrolled in the Women Who Lead Program.

Each of these women took a chance- a chance on them and their talents to grow personally and professionally, to become stronger and more efficient community leaders, and to take a shot at building a brighter future.

The North Denver Women Who Lead Program is one of the Social Impact Programs championed by the North Denver Cornerstone Collaborative (NDCC). The program grew out of the need for continued learning opportunities and leadership development for females in the GES neighborhoods. It is tied to the greater goal to improve chances on economic mobility for disadvantaged populations.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The first cohort of program participants met on Friday mornings for 12-weeks starting on February 1. During these sessions, participants learned from a diverse group of speakers how to become an active member of the community, received increased exposure to a variety of occupations, and learned ways to address job-related challenges. A unique aspect of the program was each participant was paired with a female mentor- a successful industry professional from the Denver Metro area.

Mentors accompanied program participants through their journey in not only acquiring skills that can be applied to their job search, current or future job, but also in gaining confidence on the talents they bring, learning professional etiquette, and best practices for efficient networking. More importantly, mentors became a guiding hand and voice for the women in the program; they acted as an example of hits and misses made through their own professional and personal journeys- something that the 22 Women Who Lead participants can learn from, replicate, and avoid to ultimately build on their own successful stories.

From onboarding to graduation, the program participants show themselves, and the NDCC team, that courage is shown in a variety of ways- from rage at the current circumstances of their communities, from hope to improve their families’ future, to saying “I deserve better, and I can build it.”