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Y Leaders Program starting January 2022

The Y Leaders Leadership Program at YWCA White Plains & Central Westchester is a leadership initiative that aims to equip young womxn in high school and college with the tools they need to be effective and empowered leaders. Our spring 2022 program will take our participants through trainings that will teach them how to better communicate with themselves and the world around them, how to build in daily affirmations into their lives, how to empower each other and how to navigate spaces in a way that affects change.

The YWCA’s core mission of empowering women and eliminating racism drives the vision and mission of this leadership initiative. To do our work through a racial justice lens is to approach our work in a way that is not only inclusive but allows for flexibility and changes based on staff, students and community feedback. Our goal is to equip young womxn with the tools they need to be the best leaders they can be while taking care of themselves on their journey.

We recognize that leadership comes in all forms. Some leadership is loud, others quiet, some at the forefront and others as the backbone and support. Our program aims to foster and encourage all types of leadership and recognize that it takes a fully diverse, inclusive and intentional program to prepare students for the future.

Y Leaders Eligibility

  • Currently enrolled in school.
  • Between the ages of 16 and 21.
  • A resident of Westchester (college addresses included). Y Leaders is open to those who identify as female, womxn, non-binary and gender-nonconforming.

Y Leaders Components

  • Bi-Weekly Meetings

During our program, students meet bi-weekly on Zoom (in person meetings will hopefully resume in early spring 2022) to discuss important leadership topics, develop their skills and passions and deepen relationships with like-minded students on their journey to empowerment.

  • Affirmations & Compliments

A core part of our program, students will be encouraged throughout the program to give compliments to each other as they grow as a group. Each meeting will also start with a mindfulness activity, the setting of intentions and giving ourselves the affirmations we need to move forward with our work.

  • Project Presentations

Throughout the course of the program, each student will work to create their own project to present to the rest of the group. The project will focus on an issue, cause and/or hobby that the student is passionate about.

  • Community Partners

Y Leaders will include various community partners who will help and join us in several aspects of our program. They will be a part of our discussions, panels and mentorship.

  • Youth Council

Our newly established YWCA Youth Council is a youth led group that creates social media content and messages for their peers. Students who participate in Y Leaders have a chance to become part of the council and help drive and deliver its messages.

Y Leaders Meeting Schedule: January 19th, February 2nd, February 16th, March 2nd, March 16th, March 30th, April 6th, April 27th, May 11th, May 25th, June 8th.

Note: All meetings are virtual on Zoom from 5pm – 7pm unless stated. Our hope is to start in-person meetings in early spring 2022.

Questions? Contact our Youth Leadership Director, Lesley Mazzotta (she/her/hers) via e-mail at – More info and application for Y Leaders.

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