New UWM at Waukesha program develops leadership skills for young women

A new UWM at Waukesha Continuing Education program aims to develop leadership skills for young women in Waukesha County.

The goal of the Beyond GEMS Leadership Certificate program is to support female students, ages 15 to 18, and provide them a chance to assemble a strong portfolio for college and their future careers.

“GEMS” stands for Girls’ Engineering, Mathematics and Science and refers to a UWM at Waukesha program established in 2009 designed to spark interest in the fields of science, technology, engineering or math among girls, ages 11 to 14.

Beyond GEMS takes a broader focus and expands to high school students. Participants would get access to decision-makers in the community, giving them opportunities to network and build mentoring relationships.

“We see this as a steppingstone program that will be able to serve young women in Waukesha County for years to come, not only in STEM fields, but in all aspects of leadership and entrepreneurship,” said Holly Wehrhahn, continuing education director at UWM at Waukesha.

“These opportunities will provide them with a solid foundation as they continue through their high school years and move towards their education plan.”

The Beyond GEMS Leadership Certificate starts in January, meeting every other Saturday through May. The course covers five program areas:

  • Leadership development
  • Job shadowing/mentoring
  • Preparing to apply for college
  • Managing personal finances
  • Emotional intelligence and personal well-being

Students who finish the program will earn a UWM at Waukesha Continuing Education Completion Certificate and an invitation to a graduation ceremony where certificates will be awarded.

UWM at Waukesha received a $10,000 grant from the Women and Girls Fund of Waukesha County to help support the program, including scholarships. Only female students, ages 15 to 18, who live Waukesha County and satisfy grant requirements are eligible for scholarships.

More information, including a link to a registration form, can be found on the Beyond GEMS program webpage.

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