High School Leadership Program
The Institute for Women's Leadership High School Leadership Certificate Program (HSLP) is a women’s leadership development program for underrepresented high school students in Jersey City, New Jersey. The purpose of the program, which was launched in 2005 as an outgrowth of the IWL Leadership Scholars Certificate Program for Rutgers students, is to provide high school young women opportunities to develop leadership skills through a structured after school curriculum which is created by and mentored by college women at Rutgers.
The four goals of the IWL High School Leadership Development program are: (1) to increase the educational and career awareness of young women from underrepresented backgrounds; (2) to develop young women’s leadership abilities through a structured skills development program that brings together high school students with undergraduate and professional role models; (3) to provide participants opportunities to learn about college life, be mentored and taught by college students; and (4) to develop a partnership between the university and an urban high school to increase understanding of pre-college women’s leadership development needs. As a result of the program we expect that the high school students will:
• understand and articulate their personal strengths and challenges;
• gain exposure to college life and increase awareness of the connection between education and career success;
• gain knowledge about mentoring and its benefits through a one-on-one mentoring relationship with Rutgers women students;
• consider college attendance as a serious option for themselves;
• develop a written resume;
• learn and practice communication and public speaking skills;
• build a supportive network to facilitate their success in high school, college and the workplace;
• conduct a school-based social action leadership project to help change the culture of their school; and
• use all the skills learned to plan and implement the program graduation ceremony at Snyder High School in order to share the program experience with other Snyder students and to identify themselves as school leaders.
• use the skills gained in the program to prepare and apply to college upon graduation from Snyder High School
Through modules created by Rutgers undergraduate Institute for Women's Leadership Scholars, the HSLP works to promote self-awareness, diversity, college preparation, and leadership skills in order to prepare visiting high school scholars for life after high school and promote the importance of continuing their education. By providing each scholar with an undergraduate mentor, the HSLP also promotes mentorship and allows for lasting relationships between college students and high school urban girls.