New York, NY (BlackNews.com) – For the fourth straight year, the At the Well Young Women’s Leadership Academy will be held on the campus of Princeton University in Princeton, New Jersey. The Academy is one of the only summer institutes for minority teen girls held on an Ivy League campus and the first to be held at Princeton University. The program is geared towards building leadership skills for minority girls entering the tenth, eleventh, or twelfth grades of high school. This year’s program is scheduled for July 27 – August 8, 2014 at The Friend Center, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544.
The Academy offers dynamic speakers, standardized test-taking strategies, math, critical reading courses, college essay writing classes, tutoring, interactive studies, group activities, and field trips. Each year, special guest speakers provide dynamic presentations. In 2013, actor Jasmine Guy offered an unforgettable address. Ms. Guy notes, “It is very important for us to reach out to these young girls.” Other noted speakers have included Brandi and Karli Harvey along with actor Brian White.
The Academy provides on-campus housing at Princeton University that allows the students to experience college life in an Ivy League setting. In addition, the two weeks of learning, studying, and communing together helps the students to bond and experience the Academy from an intimate perspective. The curriculum has been developed to encourage critical thinking and problem-solving skills along with increasing leadership confidence. Speakers include business leaders, entrepreneurs, and Princeton University staff who teach select classes.
The academic achievement gap between minority teen students and their white counterparts prompted Jacqueline B. Glass, CEO and Founder of At the Well Conferences, Inc., to create the Academy. According to Glass, “The U. S. Department of Education statistics state African Americans account for about 13% of the entire college enrollment. The low performance of African American students in math and on standardized tests is alarming. Our program addresses these issues head-on.”
The process is selective, as students must meet criteria based upon recommendations, an interview, an essay, extracurricular activities, and grade point average. Scholarships are available. The F.I.S.H. Foundation has supported the Academy for three years with generous grants. Crystal Lee, a 2011 and 2012 scholar, praises her experience: “At the Well provided me with a great experience and exposed me to a diverse array of people. I was constantly learning about others, as well as myself. I was able to get a better idea of what kind of leader I wanted to be. As a result of this program, I have a better sense of self-worth and more of a willingness to step outside of my comfort zone.”
At the Well Young Women’s Leadership Academy is a program of At the Well Conferences, Inc., a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization empowering teens since 2009. “The Academy seeks to empower young women locally to become effective leaders globally. By promoting excellence in education, these young women will transform their communities,” states Glass. For more information, go to www.atthewellconferences.org