Several years ago, after more than twenty years of awarding grants to organizations that empower girls and women in Guilford County, the WPF Foundation took a giant step forward in order to make an even bigger impact. The concept, which began as the The Girls’ Leadership Initiative, has developed into the WPFF Girls Leadership EdgeSM. After interviewing so many leaders of programs that serve girls, the Foundation recognized a need for an experiential learning curriculum that would support and elevate the remarkable work already being done by those organizations.

The result is WPFF Girls Leadership Edge, an evidence-based leadership skills development curriculum designed for girls ages 13 to 15. It is a gift to the community from the Women’s Professional Forum Foundation which is committed to helping middle school girls in Guilford County develop Courage, Compassion and Confidence. The WPF Foundation program was co-created by the Center for Creative Leadership in collaboration with the Guilford Nonprofit Consortium.

The Cutting Edge in Experiential Leadership Learning for Girls

The WPF Foundation provided the funding and on-going inspiration for the world-renowned Center for Creative Leadership to research, design and test the highly interactive curriculum, as well as develop the robust tool kit of resources that were used to train the first eighteen community facilitators in 2016. WPFF Girls Leadership Edge consists of five 2-hour modules to be delivered in sequence. To be considered a graduate of the program, girls must complete all five modules within a 9-month period.

The five modules are:
1    Self-Definition:  Who am I?
2    Purpose: What is important to me?
3    Sharing: How do I communicate effectively with others?
4    Connecting:  How do I recognize and value differences?
5    Conflict Resolution: How do I stand up for what I believe in?


Facilitator Training and Tool Kit Funded by WPF Foundation

Initial facilitators received a robust Resource Tool Kit like the one shown here, which includes a Facilitator’s Guide, Girl’s Workbook, three Exploration Card Decks, experiential activity components and more.  The tool kit, training and certification represent a value of $1,750 per person paid for by the WPF Foundation.





WPFF Girls Leadership Edge Certified Facilitators and Trainers
L to right back row: Kate Panzer (WPFF), Laura Weber (CCL), Nicole Hayes, Jacqueline Pippens, Ashley McKiver, Ellen Lloyd, Tasheka Jordan, Kathie Szitas, Amanda Wyckoff, Charlene Gladney
L to right front row: Janet Carlson (CCL), Philomena Rego (CCL), Kelly Graves, Pat Fehlig, Britt Lassiter, Bridget Gwinnett, Maria Mayorga, Brenda Mewborn, Jasia Stevenson, Megan Sappenfenfield, Kristen Tuma, Myrna Wigley

Participants Recognize the Positive Impact

Some members of the Guilford Nonprofit Consortium and other groups that work with girls, have generously collaborated with WPFF and CCL in the development of this program.  Comments received in the preliminary research and the prototyping sessions of the five modules have provided excellent feedback for refining the program as well as generating comments like these from leaders and girls.

What girls have to say about WPFF Girls Leadership Edge

“I learned to stop putting myself down.”
“Anyone can be a leader and I am smart.”
“I need to open up more about myself because I
realized how important I am.”

Program Leaders said….

“Middle school is that awkward stage. Girls have ideas but    don’t share with others what they believe in.”
“There is such a need.  It’s ok for a woman to have strong leadership skills and not be called “bossy.”
“When you feel confident about yourself, everything else falls into place.”
“Lots of mentoring organizations have limited resources and are duplicating efforts.”