center

" I Am a Leader fills important gaps in their understanding of the world.”
- Esther Subhashini, Hyderabad Center Director

kaviya
WEP About Us Students

“Our WEP center is an inviting place!”
- A. Vijayalakshmi, Sudar Center Director

Zoe Timms
About Us Slider

“I Am a leader helps our students make informed decisions and become self-reliant.”
- A. Vijayalakshmi, Sudar Center Director

ABOUT US2018-11-21T14:23:48+00:00

About Us

Women’s Education Project (WEP) equips young vulnerable women with skills to discover their voice and thrive in rewarding careers.  

About Us

WEP leads a Consortium of girl-focused NGOs and provides THE WEP CENTER, our self-development and career guidance to placement program.

The WEP Center is a sanctuary, within the participating NGO, where young, vulnerable women, (ages 16-24), all living under the poverty line, find their voice, acquire job ready skills and discover and pursue career paths within a supportive community of peers.

For personal development and career-guidance, the WEP Center provides I Am a Leader a eight-topic student-curated, certificate curriculum of skill-building, vision-expanding experiences on the topics of leadership, health, nutrition, civics, the environment, financial literacy, communication, technology, and entrepreneurialism. The curriculum of field trips, guest speakers, mentors, workshops, internships, training programs, courses (core requirements and electives), prepare I Am a Leader participants to develop the leader within and discover and pursue a focused viable career of their own choosing.  

For education, WEP provides college scholarships, textbook and transportation expenses, academic-support courses, tutorials, libraries, and computer labs.

Upon college graduation, those wishing to pursue a career are introduced to area opportunities or those beyond. 

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.

To date, there are over 1200 WEP alumnae, approximately 800 of whom are employed in their first formal sector jobs as lab technicians, physical therapists, dentists, teachers, nurses, corporate and legal assistants, NGO staff, computer operators, hotel receptionists and entrepreneurs.

Our Story

Board of Directors

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

Treasurer, Julie Gorte
Senior Vice President for Sustainable Investing, Pax World Management LLC

Kathy Hurley
Co-Founder and CEO, Girls Thinking Global

Rajeev Kaul
Director and Owner, the Kaul Group

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)

Council

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

Susan Badger
Principal and Founder, The Badger Consulting Group

Aarabi Balasubramanian
Director, Cognizant Tech. Solutions

Donna Campbell
Executive Director, Aravind Eye Foundation

Michael Campbell
Healthcare Consultant and Managing Member, Indicina

Diane Chatlani
Planning, Jewelry & Watches at Hudson’s Bay Company

Deb DeVries
Co Founder and President at Girls Thinking Global

Arjun Kapur​
Manager, Mergers & Acquisitions at Global Brands Group

Jeri Lim​
Digital Strategy & Global Communication Consultant

Jordin Luke​
Founder, saanj.

Paula Maylahn
Paula Maylahn Consulting

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

Veebha Mehta
VP, e-Commerce, Cengage​

Bhavani Parameswar
President, Indivate Inc.​

Minal Patel
Owner, Minal Patel LLC.

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

Rasika Reddy
Artist

Cynthia Schultz
Managing Member, Broadband Law Group

Nancy Settergren
Senior Managing Director at Aon Risk Services

Michael Trollan
Owner, Trollan Consulting

Board of Directors, WEP India 

Aarthi Chellappa
Corporate Counsel at Cisco Systems

Srini Ramaswamy
Inclusion & Collaboration-India & APJC, Cisco

Roopa Ravikumar
Asst. professor in Sociology at Lady Doak College

Shruti Shibulal
Director and CEO of Tamara Leisure Experiences

STAFF

Shruthi Dinkar
Director, Women’s Education Project-India

Meet the Team

Zoe Timms Profile
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.

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

“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

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