YWI Blueprint for Action

Recommendations from 20 young women with something to say and much to share.


Young Women's
Advisory Council

Applications Open on April 2, 2018!

Program Structure

The Young Women’s Advisory Council (YWAC) consists of up to 20 young women, ages 14-24. Through a leadership development and social justice program and mentoring relationships, these young leaders investigate barriers, explore solutions, and make recommendations for change in their community. The YWAC will form task forces to implement projects in partnership with community organizations in Western MA.  Participants will be encouraged to share their knowledge with school and peer communities by launching clubs or hosting workshops.


The Women’s Fund seeks bright, self-motivated, and collaborative young women with a history of community leadership and personal achievement. Requirements include:

  • Must be a resident of Springfield, Mass.
    Young women who do not currently live in the community, due to enrollment in college, for example, may apply if they have lived a minimum of five years in Springfield and can commit to regularly attending meetings. 
  • Ages 14-24 years as of program start date.

Apply Now

Applications for the 2018-2019 Young Women’s Initiative (YWI) will be open until September 21st. For more information contact Kelley Bryant.

Steering Committee 

Ann Burke
Vice President
Western Mass. Economic Development Council

Michael Clark
Senior Advisor and Director of Strategic Engagement
Office of Senator Eric P. Lesser

Dawn Creighton
Western Massachusetts Regional Director
Associated Industries of Massachusetts

Rep. José F. Tosado
Ninth Hampden District

Dawn Forbes DiStefano
Chief Finance and Grants Officer
Square One

Pattie Hallberg
Chief Executive Officer
Girl Scouts of Central & Western Massachusetts

Denise Hurst
Springfield School Committee

Justin Hurst
At-Large Member
Springfield City Council

Ronn Johnson
MLK Family Services

Chelsea Kline
Director of Arts and Humanities
Women as Empowered Learners and Leaders (WELL) Program at Bay Path University

Lydia E. Martinez-Alvarez
Assistant Superintendent
Springfield Public Schools

Rachel Parent
Chief Information Officer
MassMutual Corporate Technology

Suzanne Parker
Executive Director
Girls Inc – Holyoke

Dora Robinson
Retired President and CEO
United Way of Pioneer Valley

Marian Sullivan
Communications Director
Springfield Office of the Mayor

Samantha Washburn-Baronie
Deputy Director
Massachusetts State Treasurer Deborah B. Goldberg, Office of Economic Empowerment

Sarah Williams
Senior Vice President
Head of Financial Risk at Global Atlantic Financial Group

Collaborative Members

The National Philanthropic Collaborative of Young Women’s Initiatives (NPCYWI) is a dynamic effort by eight leading women’s foundations that seeks to galvanize and invest resources to amplify the collective power of young women—particularly young women of color— to ensure that they are safe, healthy and economically prosperous in a world with gender and racial equity.  We are on a collective mission to shift the narrative about young women of color, and to address the core, structural issues that have kept too many young women from reaching their full potential.

“I loved being part of YWAC. This program gave me the opportunity to not only grow personally, but to learn skills that can benefit me in the future. YWAC has inspired me to achieve my goals in life and to aspire to greater things.”
—Ramona Williams, YWAC Member

Get ready to lead