About the Program
NEW LeadershipTM Illinois is a non-partisan, week-long residential program for college women designed to increase women's representation in all elements of public life, including elected office. The program challenges our brightest students to think critically and creatively about public policy and encourages them to make a commitment to public leadership early in their careers. The program is held annually in June in Chicago.
Participants are led through the process of understanding their own leadership qualities and gaining new leadership skills, including how to negotiate for a desired outcome, communicate effectively, work in diverse environments, and handle ethical dilemmas.
The week includes a policy theme, represented by a contemporary legislative proposal in Illinois. Participants are given informative materials that explain the policy and the political environment, and interact with policy experts from the University of Illinois and elsewhere. The goal is not only to understand one particular policy problem, but to gain important skills in effectively using expert information to make a persuasive argument.
Students learn first hand what it means to serve in public office. Women leaders, including current and former legislators, other elected and appointed officials, lobbyists, and political campaign staff, serve as mentors in the program, speaking in keynotes, panels and roundtable discussions. Students also see policy in action by visiting government offices during the week. Several women leaders live in the residence halls with the students, participating in the full week's events and providing numerous opportunities for informal conversations with students.
The program is structured for active learning. Activities throughout the sessions allow students to engage with the material and with the faculty and speakers in a fun and collegial atmosphere. This culminates in a group policy analysis project, in which students practice their new skills and present their findings in a mock legislative committee hearing.
The application period for the 2017 NEW Leadership program has ended. Please check back in Fall 2017 to apply for the 2018 NEW Leadership program.
Applicants must have rising junior or rising senior standing at the university level, or recent graduate status (winter 2016 or spring 2017 graduation date). State, private, and community college students may apply. Community college students must have completed sophomore year, and be applying to a four-year school for the 2016-2017 academic year. Applicants must attend a university in the state, and/or have Illinois residency. For questions about requirements, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
To apply, please do the following:
1. Fill out the online application.
2. Send your official transcript to NEW LeadershipTM Illinois:
1007 W Nevada St.
Urbana, IL 61801
3. Send your updated resume to email@example.com, with the subject line: "LAST NAME, Resume".
4. Send one letter of recommendation to firstname.lastname@example.org or NEW LeadershipTM Illinois:
1007 W Nevada St.
Urbana, IL 61801
For more information, contact the NEW Leadership Illinois program at email@example.com or (217) 333-3340.
The National Network
The NEW LeadershipTM National Network was developed by the Center for American Women in Politics (CAWP) at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, to address the underrepresentation of women in American politics. There are NEW LeadershipTM programs in 18 states and New England, from Maine to North Dakota to Texas to California. A CAWP survey of more than 800 NEW LeadershipTM alumnae confirms the success of the program. Alumnae report that participating in NEW LeadershipTM encouraged them to become more involved in politics, educated them about the political process and increased their overall self-confidence and leadership skills.
CAWP is nationally recognized as the leading source of scholarly research and current data about American women’s political participation. Its mission is to promote greater knowledge and understanding about women’s participation in politics and government and to enhance women’s influence and leadership in public life. CAWP’s education and outreach programs translate research findings into action, addressing women’s underrepresentation in political leadership with effective, imaginative programs serving a variety of audiences. As the world has watched Americans considering female candidates for the nation’s highest offices, CAWP’s over four decades of analyzing and interpreting women’s participation in American politics have provided a foundation and context for the discussion. Learn more about CAWP and the NEW Leadership National Network at cawp.rutgers.edu.