About Us

Women’s Education Project (WEP) prepares young underprivileged women to become economically independent leaders.


About Us

WEP partners with girl-focused NGOs to provide its I Am a Leader Academy, where young, vulnerable women, (ages 16-24), find their confidence, explore their interests and opportunities and acquire job-ready skills to pursue them – within a supportive community of peers, mentors and role models.

The I Am a Leader Academy’s diploma granting curriculum of skill-building, vision-expanding experiences, field trips, guest speakers, mentors, workshops, internships, training programs, and courses prepare I Am a Leader Scholars to develop the leader within and become economically independent, many pursuing a viable career of their own choosing.  

Upon completion, those wishing to become an entrepreneur or pursue an career are introduced to opportunities. 

All graduates may join the WEP Alumnae Association to communicate online and return to the Centers where they socialize and mentor new students. WEP is always ready to assist alumnae according to their needs.

Current Consortium Partners are: Aarti Home, Kadapa (2012),  Andhra Pradesh, Cerena Foundation (2007), Hyderabad, Telangana, and Sudar Foundation, Madurai, Tamil Nadu (2002), India.

Our Story

Board of Directors

Nalini Dhar
First Vice President, Merrill Lynch-Bank of America

President, Minal Patel
Owner, Minal Patel LLC.

Kathy Hurley
Co-Founder and CEO, Girls Thinking Global

Veeru Srivastava
Director, Bank of America

Peter Timms
Director, Fitchburg Art Museum (ret.)

President, Zoë Timms
Founding Director, Women’s Education Project

Gaurav Verma
Chief Operating Officer, US India Strategic Partnership Forum (USISPF)

Board of Directors, WEP India 

Aarthi Chellappa
Corporate Counsel at Cisco Systems

Shalini i Puchalalpalli 
Director at Amazon

Roopa Ravikumar
Asst. professor in Sociology at Lady Doak College

Shruti Shibulal
Director and CEO of Tamara Leisure Experiences


Kirti Agarwal
Licensed Mental Health Counselor, Dr. Karen Ruskin and Associates

Donna Campbell
Executive Director, Aravind Eye Foundation

Michael Campbell
Healthcare Consultant and Managing Member, Indicina

Deb DeVries
Co Founder and President at Girls Thinking Global

Amanda Gassé
Energy & Resource Solutions

Arshdeep Gill
Business Analyst, Orvis Investments

Kyle Horan
Security Consultant, Hackerone

Deepika Mandrekar​
Advocate for Women and Education

Paula Maylahn
Paula Maylahn Consulting

Shashank Mahashabde​
President, Business Development and Contract Manufacturing, Neuland Laboratories Limited

Bhavani Parameswar
President, Indivate Inc.​

Maureen Quinn
Adjunct Professor,​ New York University and Seton Hall University​

Rasika Reddy

Sophie Soares
Project Manager, Adolescent Girls’ Programming at the Population Council

Cynthia Schultz
Managing Member, Broadband Law Group

WEP Scholars are US high school and college students who visit our Centers to work with our students on I Am a Leader activities.
To interview for the Scholar’s program, please email: info@WomensEducationProejct.org with “WEP Scholar” in the subject line.

Meet the Team

About Us Zoe Timms Profile
About Us Zoe Timms

Zoë Timms
Founding Executive Director

Zoë Timms, Founding Executive Director, first went to Hyderabad, India in 1996 as a student of the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Year-in-India Program. There she was introduced to educational, grassroots NGOs, helping former girl child laborers study for the first time.  Later, in 2001-2004, directing the Wisconsin program in Madurai, Tamil Nadu, Zoë worked with a young woman whose dream to obtain an MBA and enter a career in finance were blocked by serious family illness and debt.  

Zoë realized there were countless ambitious young women in similar circumstances. She thought about the obstacles they faced and the steps it would take to remove them. The idea of creating a Center where young women could meet, develop skills, focus their ambitions, and expand their awareness of life’s possibilities was born.

Zoë returned to New York to raise the money for her friend’s scholarship and recruited others to the cause.

Sudar, WEP’s first Center, opened in Madurai in 2002.  This was followed by Hyderabad in 2007 and Kadapa in 2012.  In 2016, WEP-India was established in Bangalore with its own Board and in-Country Director.

Today, a young woman whose dream was to obtain an MBA is now a Senior Bank Manager at an International bank in Bangalore.

WEP Center Directors

At each partnership, Center Directors are women whose leadership, compassion, creativity, and laughter and commitment to the students drives the success of the WEP program.

About Us Esther

“The self confidence, skills, and self-worth the WEP girls develop, one cannot put a price tag on it.”

– Esther Subhashini –

Hyderabad WEP Center Director

Watch Esther’s Video
About Us Viji

“A woman with education and independence is a powerful person, who can educate and guide the children in her family and contribute economically to improve her home and community.”

– A. Vijayalakshmi –

Sudar WEP Center Director

Watch Vijayalakshmi’s Video
About Us Sandhya

“Because of I Am a Leader, our girls are socially conscious leaders, who confidently discuss domestic violence, malnutrition … this courage helps them secure jobs they want!”

– Sandhya Puchalapalli –
Kadapa WEP Center Director

Watch Sandhya’s Video

Sponsors and Organizational Sponsors