*NEW YORK, NY — For the third straight year, the ATW/At the Well Young Women’s Leadership Academy) will be held at Princeton University in Princeton, New Jersey. ATW is the only Ivy League summer institute for minority teen girls in the country.
This year actress Jasmine Guy, best known for her role as Whitley from the popular television series, A Different World will offer the keynote address to young scholars attending the Academy. She is set to motivate the students with her unique brand of wit and wisdom.
The Academy is geared towards improving SAT test scores and leadership skills for minority girls in underserved communities entering the tenth, eleventh, or twelfth grades of high school. The 2013 program will be held on July 28-August 9, 2013 at The Friend Center.
Each year, the Academy offers dynamic speakers, SAT preparatory courses, intense math and essay writing classes, tutoring, interactive studies, group activities, and field trips all on the beautiful campus of Princeton University. In addition to Jasmine Guy, Karli and Brandi Harvey (Steve Harvey’s daughters), Inventor Lisa Ascolese, A’Lelia Bundles (Madame C. J. Walker’s great great-granddaughter), and fashion and beauty editor Tai Beauchamp will also be guest speakers.
The Academy includes on campus boarding at Princeton University that allows the students to experience college life in an Ivy League setting. In addition, the two weeks of learning, studying, and communing together helps the students to bond and experience the Academy from an intimate perspective. The curriculum has been developed to enhance critical thinking and problem solving skills along with emphasizing self-esteem. Speakers include leaders from the business community, entrepreneurs, Princeton University officials, and non-profit organization staff. Goldman Sachs executives provide coaching. The sessions also include group activities and interactive studies that allow the girls to hone their team building skills.
The academic achievement gap between minority teen students and compared to other ethnic groups prompted Jacqueline B. Glass, CEO and Founder of At the Well Conferences, Inc., to create the Academy. According to Glass, “The U. S. Department of Education statistics state African Americans account for about 13% of college enrollment. The low performance of African-American students in math and on SAT scores is alarming. Our program addresses these issues head-on.”
The process is selective, as students are required to meet criteria based upon recommendations, an interview, a written essay, extracurricular activities, and grade point average. Scholarships are available to students through grants and sponsorships. The F.I.S.H. Foundation has supported the At the Well Young Women’s Leadership Academy for two years with a generous grant. Rakiyah White, a 2011 and 2012 participant praises her experience. “This was a very empowering leadership program! I learned so much about entrepreneurship, leadership (how to become a better leader, budgeting, and business etiquette), effective writing, critical reading techniques, and SAT prep.”
At the Well Conferences, Inc. has been empowering teens since 2009. “The Academy seeks to empower young women locally to become effective leaders globally. By promoting excellence in education, these young women will transform their communities,” states Ms. Glass.
Chandra McQueen, Moona Inc.
Linda Peavy, LiPav Consulting