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YWI Identifies Focus Areas

By March 29, 2019March 16th, 2021No Comments

This Year’s Young Women’s Advisory Council Identifies Focus Areas

If you work for a nonprofit with programing in Springfield and are focused on one of the topic areas below, we want to hear from you! Reach out to Kelley Byant, Program Coordinator ( by April 10th with your contact information. The Young Women’s Advisory Council is researching many local organizations to identify potential grantees this spring.

As you know, our Young Women’s Initiative involves the Young Women’s Advisory Council (YWAC) participating in a leadership development program in which they identify barriers, explore solutions, and make recommendations for change right here in Springfield. This year, they have identified the following topic areas to focus on:

Practical Education – This task force aims to find solutions that address the gaps in education that secure their future success. They are focused on basic life skill learning like comprehensive sexual education, financial literacy, and civic participation.

Mental Health – This task force is focusing on avenues for affecting positive change in mental health supports for youth. This relates to regular life at home, in school, or after graduation, and in dealing with structures like the court system or hospitals.

Dress Codes – Recognizing the lack of gender equity in school dress code policies, this task force is focusing on affecting change to those policies that affect young women’s daily life in school by compounding rape culture ideologies.

Throughout the remainder of the program, members of the YWAC will work in task forces to research and better understand the obstacles they face and the local nonprofit organizations working to address these problems and invest in productive solutions. Each of the three task forces will direct grants of $5,000 each to organizations addressing their respective topic areas. Upcoming classroom sessions will teach participants about philanthropy and grantmaking, consensus decision-making, and rubric building for participatory grant making. Task force members will work with mentors from the community to create actionable recommendations that will help guide our collective goal of empowering these bright minds and future leaders to create a more socially and economically just Springfield.

Save the date for the YWAC graduation on June 4th when each task force will present what they’ve learned in the program and their process to determining the topic areas, nonprofits grantees, and recommendations for the community.