The YWCA has a rich history of empowering women and this socially innovative programme aims to make a difference to the future of New Zealand society.
Our vision is for young women to become capable and confident leaders in many areas of society, acting as role models for other young people and taking their leadership skills back into their communities. They are empowered to make choices in their lives, choices in their careers, relationships and communities and the resiliency to meet and deal with life’s challenges. Without this programme, many of the young women would not otherwise have these opportunities. We are working with a concentrated group of young women to enable positive movement in the long-term; from positive intervention to a strong ripple benefit impact in their lives, their family’s lives, the lives of their mentors and their communities.
One young woman told us when she graduated last year:
“I gained confidence in myself and in my ability to apply myself to tasks and see them through. I’m thankful for [Future Leaders] because I believe if I wasn’t in the programme I would have left school and not finished well. I’m thankful to my Mentor who really helped me to focus and remain on track.”
Read more personal stories of how Future Leaders has changed lives HERE
YWCA Future Leaders is a four year, free mentoring programme which supports and empowers young women to become leaders and role models in their communities. We work with young women aged 14-18 attending decile 1-4 schools. It is a positive youth development programme which prepares young women to meet the challenges of adolescence and transition into adulthood. Future Leaders works through a coordinated and progressive series of activities and mentoring workshops which focus on building leadership and academic skills, as well as increasing self-esteem and self-awareness.
The programme is being delivered in six Auckland schools in 2015: Henderson High School, Kelston Girls College, Mt Roskill Grammar School, Onehunga High School, Tamaki College and Sir Edmund Hillary Collegiate. In each school, we have cohorts averaging around 12 students and have repeat intakes every two to three years. 85% of our graduates go on to further education and for many they are the first in their family to do so.
In 2016, our 14th year of the programme, we have 123 young women with 88 mentors matched with our Year 11 – 13 cohorts. We have had three new intakes of Year 10 students this year, from SEHC, Tamaki College and Kelston Girls. Year 10 is now a foundation year preparing the girls for the mentoring relationship and building their inter-personal relationship skills. As a strength-based programme we focus on each participant as an individual to enable long-term positive change; providing a strong ripple benefit that truly impacts in their lives, their family’s lives, the lives of their mentors and their communities.
The Future Leaders programme is meeting a strong community need for long-term support and guidance for young women.
Our key aim is for young women to become capable and confident leaders in many areas of society, acting as role models for other young people and taking their leadership skills back into their communities.
The four objectives of the programme are:
- to increase young women’s self-confidence by providing access to a range of experiences;
- to support and encourage young women to achieve their self-defined goals;
- to support young women’s educational achievement and
- to facilitate opportunities for young women to actively lead.