The Young Women Leaders Program is honored to announce that we have been selected to receive three undergraduate research grants through the Jefferson Public Citizens (JPC) program! This highly selective grant program provides funds to teams of U.Va. undergraduates as they conduct research-based public service projects. This year’s teams will develop a YWLP program for the Charlottesville and Albemarle High Schools, start a YWLP “sister site” in Uganda, and continue work with our existing sister site in Nicaragua.

The first group of U.Va.’s YWLP students have formed a “JPC Team” to pilot a program for Charlottesville and Albemarle high school students! In this pilot program, 11th and 12th grade YWLP alumnae will serve as Big Sisters to other YWLP alumnae in 9th and 10th grade. Through developing students’ “sparks,” or areas of “self-identified interest, skill, or capacity,” YWLP High hopes to aide mentees in the transition to high school. This spring, the team will conduct research, to include focus groups, and interviews to inform their implementation plan. Based on their findings, they will spend this summer designing the program’s structure, curriculum, and materials. Then, in the fall semester of 2015, these U.Va. students will pilot the YWLP High programs in the two local high schools.

JPC Nicaragua

The JPC team working on the sister site in Nicargua is looking forward to their project!

We’re thrilled to announce that the second JPC grant team will be developing a new YWLP sister site program in Mbarara, Uganda! One of the challenges that Ugandan girls face is limited access to education. The team will begin by collaborating with faculty and college women at the Mbarara University of Science and Technology to develop the program’s curriculum. During the summer, the U.Va. team will travel to Uganda to conduct focus groups and provide training for the program. The mentoring program will then be implemented in the fall, with the U.Va. team providing support through online communication and gathering data on the program’s outcomes. Welcome to the YWLP family, Mbarara!

The final JPC team will be enhancing the connection between YWLP in Charlottesville and its sister site in Nicaragua. The main focus will be revising the Global Connections curriculum currently in place. The group will also be creating social media platforms for YWLP programs to communicate with each other across the globe.

Congratulations again to all the groups as they improve and expand YWLP!

Story and photo by Meredith Wallace
Cascells Graduate Student Coordinator with YWLP