Young Women’s Leadership Academy and Summer Programs for Girls

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helping girls grow into empowered women

Future Leader Program

Future Leader Program cohortThe YWCA is dedicated to growing the next generation of female leaders in the St. Louis region. Our Future Leader Program builds upon and strengthens the leadership capacity of rising high school seniors who exhibit great potential and awards scholarships to support post secondary education.

In 2013, the YWCA successfully launched the Future Leaders Academy. This academy provides a forum for young women to further develop their skills and competencies in the areas of leadership, communication, self awareness and team building. While in the academy, girls discuss relevant topics, exchange ideas with other female leaders and participate in a service learning project. The Future Leader Academy culminates with a Recognition and Awards Ceremony.

Participant Quotes

“I feel like I can take over the world and that I have the skills to do it. It wasn't about learning new skills but rather applying them and learning what it’s like to work with other leaders.”
“It [Future Leader Program] definitely made me certain of my strengths and weaknesses. But it has also given me stronger faith, motivation, confidence and fearlessness to accomplish my goals.”

For more information about the Young Women’s Leadership Academy, contact yw-teens at 314.531.1115 or

2021 Future Leader Flyer & Application

girls circle

girls circleThe YWCA Metro St. Louis is pleased to be the first organization in the St. Louis area to offer this dynamic gender-specific program. The Girls Circle model offers a structured support group for middle and high school girls, ages 11-18 years.The goal of Girls’ Circles is to enhance girls’ abilities so they are able to take full advantage of their talents, academic interests, career pursuits, and potential for healthy relationships. This is accomplished by integrating relational theory, resiliency practices, and skills training in a specific format designed to increase positive connection, personal and collective strengths, and competence in girls. To participate, girls need only have the desire, make a commitment to attend the meetings and agree to follow the circle guidelines: respect for others, no put-downs or interruptions, offer experiences – not advice, keep the focus on oneself, and keep what’s said in the group private.

Participant Quotes

“I liked that I expressed my feelings and see that there are girls just like me.”
7th grade student, Westview Middle School
“What I have learned (from Girls Circle) was I can be somebody because at first I thought I was nobody, but now I'm somebody and I’m glad I found myself. "
9th grade student, Roosevelt High School