Leadership program for women now taking applications

College women looking to learn more about the political process are encouraged to apply for NEW Leadership™ Illinois.

NEW Leadership™ 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.

This expenses paid program focuses on leadership education, political savvy, and policy skills. Women leaders from the state, including Illinois women legislators, serve as mentors in the program. The Institute of Government & Public Affairs at the University of Illinois co-sponsors the program with the Conference of Women Legislators of the Illinois General Assembly (COWL).

Students from all backgrounds and in all majors are encouraged to apply.

NEW Leadership™ Illinois will be held from June 5-9, 2017 at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

The Curriculum 
Leadership Education 
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.

Policy Skills
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.

Political Savvy
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.

Active Learning 
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.

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 newl@uillinois.edu.

Application Instructions
To apply, please do the following (applications will be accepted until March 6, 2017):
  1. Complete the online application
  2. Send your official transcript to NEW Leadership Illinois, 1007 W Nevada St., Urbana, IL 61801
  3. Send your updated resume to newl@uillinois.edu, with the subject line: "YOUR LAST NAME, Resume".
  4. Send one letter of recommendation to newl@uillinois.edu or NEW Leadership Illinois, 1007 W Nevada St., Urbana, IL 61801

Contact information
For more information, contact the NEW Leadership Illinois program at newl@uillinois.edu or (217) 333-3340.

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