The WEP Academy
The WEP Academy is a lively, safe place within the NGO partner. After the college day, young women, who receive scholarships to area colleges and vocational institutes, come to the Academy to meet friends, study and participate in the Academy’s rigorous curriculum of courses, workshops, field trips, guest speaker internships, training programs, and activities. There are four main components:
The SISTERHOOD, the foundation of the Academy, is a lively community of inspiring peers, role models, and mentors. MY LEADERSHIP – A certificate offering a series of courses in leadership, life skills, health, nutrition, gender issues, personal finance, civic rights and community activity. MY ECONOMIC INDEPENDENCE, a field trips and course based certificate to explore opportunities and gain skills. MY NEXT STEPS, a certificate offering entrance to vocational, higher education, training, internships and other programs.
Through this vision-expanding curriculum exploring life’s opportunities and ideas, Scholars find their voice, discover entrepreneurial and formal sector career ambitions, expand their understandings and ignite their inner spark. They become confident, informed leaders in their homes, communities and workplaces. Typically, Scholars attend the Academy or two to three years. Their with WEP is life-long as well as life-changing.
Courses and Workshops
“My favorite part of I am a leader is the life skills workshops to help our students make informed decisions, communicate effectively and [become self-reliant]. Students have a huge potential. I Am a Leader also imparts soft skills relating to emotional and social intelligence to cope in a competitive world.”
“I Am A Leader journals teach life skills, taught neither at college nor home. These journals fill the important gaps in their understanding of the world around them. The self confidence, skills, and self-worth they develop at WEP – one cannot put a price tag on it.”
“In our first year in Madurai, we noticed girls crying to friends about their mother’s illness, a loan shark’s visit, or their own marriage pressure. We began I Am a Leader for young women to understand and gain their voice by visiting their community, meeting women leaders, volunteering and discovering career options.”
Our Students & Alumnae
WEP students are young women, ages 16-24, from semi-urban and urban communities, 10th standard graduates, whose parents are mostly illiterate or semi-literate, daily-wage workers in critical need of financial, academic and social support. Due to poverty’s overwhelming pressures, they lack confidence, study skills, and the ability to express themselves. They are unaware of their potential – and their opportunities – and are at great risk of entering early marriages, low-wage employment and subject to violence in their homes. In spite of these, they have the ambition and grit to explore becoming economically independent leaders.
WEP Alumnae visit the Madurai Center
Like all underprivileged young women in India, the background and life of a WEP student is hard. And the reality is that, even after moving up and obtaining relatively well-paid employment, her hold on happiness and security may, for a variety of reasons – frequently domestic – be precarious. At the same time, WEP alumnae are deeply inspiring and a rich source of knowledge and advice. Their return visits to the WEP Centers are, for both students and staff, informative and highly motivating. For these reasons, the doors to Alumnae are always open.
WEP partners with established and well-run girl focused NGOs to provide the I Am a Leader Academy, a cost-effective, efficient, curriculum easily adapted to local circumstance to meet the needs of diverse partners and the girls and women served.
WEP Center Directors at the 2018 Partnership meeting
If you are interested in becoming a partner, please contact us.
edWeb.net is a WEP sponsor and award-winning professional learning network that serves the global education community. edWeb provides free edWebinars and an online forum to support women’s leadership. Below is a list of past edWeb Women’s Leadership and Education sessions.
Successful Women in Leadership: Building and Maintaining Strong Relationships
Dr. Sandy Husk, Chief Executive Officer, AVID Center
Engaging Women in STEM: Adolescence Through Adulthood
Jane Kubasik, Social Impact Innovator, Founder and Board Chair for the 114th Partnership; and Laura Paxton Hassner, Professional Innovator
Brave Your Fear: Helping Women and Girls to Face Fears and Take Action
Crista Samaras, Founder and CEO, Brave Enterprises; and Katie Carroll, MPH, Research Analyst, Brave Enterprises
Girl Rising: Inspiring Global Citizenship and Local Engagement
Kayce Freed Jennings, Senior Producer, Girl Rising
The Future is Bright: Young Women’s Leadership in Pakistan
Saba Ismail, Co-founder, Aware Girls
Blazing Your Own Path: Women in Education Technology
Megan Harney, CEO, MIDAS Education
A STEM Bridge of Black Swans
Dr. Eleanor Smalley, President & CEO, JASON Learning
Unite Your Passion and Profession to Make a Difference
Susan Hall, Ed.D., Co-Founder and President, 95 Percent Group Inc.
Uncommon Leadership: What It Takes To Press Forward
Dr. Vicki Phillips, Education Strategist
STEM Learning Careers and Leadership
Dr. Eleanor Smalley, President and CEO, JASON Learning
Building a School Library in Kabul, Afghanistan
Sajia Darwish, Junior at Mount Holyoke College
The WEP Story: Girls in India Succeeding in College, Career and Life
Zoe Timms, Founding Executive Director, Women’s Education Project
Using Free Service Learning Resources to Deepen Student Understanding and Create Leaders
Alanna Brown, Program Manager, Pennies for Peace, and Allison Kucharski, Teacher, A. Vito Martinez Middle School, Illinois
Work Your Dreams Using the Top Five Leadership Competencies
Linda McCulloch, Secretary of State of Montana
Leadership Through Systems Change
Dr. Barbara Stock Nielsen, Former South Carolina State Superintendent
“You’re in Charge?” Women’s Leadership in Difficult Circumstances
Kasturi Shah and Vaasvi Goyal, Co-Founders of Hello, Seekho
A Roadmap for Women’s Leadership
Ann McMullan, Education Consultant and Dr. Darline P. Robles, Professor, University of Southern Californiaâ€™s Rossier School of Education
Deborah Delisle, Executive Director of ASCD
Life Lessons in Leadership
Ann McMullan, Education Consultant
Fostering Leadership in Women and Girls
Kathy Hurley, CEO, and Deb deVries, President, Girls Thinking Global