GENaustin Launches First Pathfinder Leadership Summit for College-Bound Young Women

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Now accepting applications for its first personal and professional leadership development program with career coaching, networking, mentoring and more.

GENaustin launches newest program for high school girls, the Pathfinder Leadership Summit

Through Pathfinder, we are creating a new opportunity for young women in our community to gain self-knowledge, skills and confidence to be tomorrow’s leaders.

GENaustin – The Girls Empowerment Network today announced it is accepting applications for its 2015 Pathfinder Leadership Summit, its first weeklong program designed especially for young women currently in grades 9 – 12 who want to enhance their personal and professional leadership skills. The early bird deadline for applications is February 27, 2015, and all applications are due no later than April 15, 2015.

GENaustin, known for its creative and personalized programs for girls ages 8 – 18, created the Pathfinder Leadership Summit after hours of interviews and focus groups with high school students, parents, school counselors, and Austin women business leaders. Students said they crave to learn the personal and professional skills to help them succeed in college and beyond.

“Today’s young woman is connected and social media savvy, though she still has a lot of unanswered questions about the skills she needs for college and her career,” says Julia Cuba, MSW, executive director of GENaustin. “We spent two months talking to high school women around Austin, asking them what would help them feel prepared to navigate the road to independence. Then we designed the Pathfinder leadership Summit, filling their days with activities.”

The first Pathfinder Leadership Summit will be offered to 80 participants in one of two sessions, June 14 – 19 and July 12 – 17, 2015. This spring GENaustin will visit area high schools and girls groups, sharing program details and Pathfinder Leadership Summit sneak-peeks with potential applicants. Interested groups are encouraged to contact GENaustin to schedule a visit. More information and the application is online at

“When it comes to leadership, a lot of learning happens outside of the classroom,” says Rachel Ladov, MSW, GENaustin Pathfinder Program Designer. “Through Pathfinder, we are creating a new opportunity for young women in our community to gain self-knowledge, skills and confidence to be tomorrow’s leaders. The program is a personal and professional leadership development program that gives high school students a head start on their roads to new experiences, college, careers and independence.”

Emily, a college junior and previous GENaustin volunteer, wishes Pathfinder was available when she was in high school. “GENaustin shows girls the importance of empowering and supporting one another. The Pathfinder program gives girls the chance to pick up valuable skills that they will use the rest of their lives, while also helping them find true confidence in themselves."

In one action-packed week, the Pathfinder Leadership Summit combines workshops and small group mentoring with one-of-a-kind professional networking opportunities designed especially for ambitious young women. Through workshops and field trips, Pathfinders will discover their passions and strengths, learn interviewing and networking skills, and meet business and community leaders. The week culminates with a luncheon with influential and successful women from the Austin business community who want to inspire and support the next generation.

"While schools focus on getting young women ready for a successful future from an academic standpoint, GENaustin’s Pathfinder program teaches them lessons most people have to learn the hard way – networking and communication skills, interviewing tips, résumé dos and don’ts and so much more. It’s the jump start smart girls need to get even smarter about their future," says Maria Orozova, President & Creative Director, The MOD Studio.

About GENaustin    
Through after-school clubs, programs and community workshops for girls and parents, GENaustin -- The Girls Empowerment Network supports and guides girls to make wise choices as they navigate the unique pressures of girlhood. GENaustin created Pathfinder Leadership Summit in 2015 to expand its services that empower young women to navigate the road to independence.

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Anne Lasseigne Tiedt
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