Catie Gullett of the firm’s Cultural Resources Division and Chelsea Hager of the Water Resources Division were nominated and accepted into the 2017 YWCA of Central Ohio’s Leadership for Social Change Program, which honors the legacy of the women who founded the YWCA and focuses on growing the next generation of women leaders in Central Ohio.
Their involvement includes a 10-month commitment to a monthly workshop with about 25 other women in their 20s who are also at the beginning of their leadership journeys. In these workshops, participants engage with community experts from grassroots, political, community-based, educational, and nonprofit organizations that are working to create social change.
Over the course of the program, Catie and Chelsea will learn more about their strengths and obtain training designed specifically to develop their leadership skills as women.
“We developed a goals list for the program and then looked at the impact the goals would have at different levels of accomplishment,” they both said. The various levels of progress serve as an indicator of attainment and ultimately as a motivator to fully achieve each goal.
For Chelsea, the program not only represents a chance to connect with other professional women her age, but also an opportunity to learn more about social justice. “I’m really interested in learning about social justice issues and particularly how to address these issues through policy. I am also eager to learn about and connect with local non-profits,” she said.
Catie feels the same way, and is excited about the community involvement aspect of the program. “I was looking for new ways to be involved in the Columbus community,” she said, “and appreciate the opportunity to learn about and engage with social justice issues at the local level.”
They both agreed that such a diverse group of young women will make for an eye-opening experience and provide an opportunity to learn more about other women’s backgrounds and their particular living and working experiences.
“By the end of the program, we will develop plans to effect social change within our communities. In this early stage, I’m waiting to see what form that will ultimately take,” said Catie, “for now, I’m focused on learning as much as possible.”
Chelsea believes it’s a good opportunity for personal development. “I’m excited to learn more about myself and how I can improve as a person and as a future leader,” she said.
As Catie and Chelsea gain practical knowledge and enhanced skills over the course of the program year, they will be better positioned to participate in creating significant social change in the Columbus community.
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