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Young Women's Leadership Academy

Young Women's Leadership Academy

About YWLA

Designed for women ages 18-25, the Loyola University New Orleans and Councilmember Lesli Harris' Young Women’s Leadership Academy (YWLA) is a 2-day workshop for young women who want to develop, connect, and grow as leaders.

This 2-day workshop aims to build community amongst young women from diverse backgrounds as they engage in leadership training, peer learning, and networking. Throughout the academy, participants work collaboratively to understand their personalities and leadership styles, define their career goals, and begin to build their professional networks. 

Each young woman will grow in self-confidence, build strategic relationships, gain clarity on personality strengths and opportunities for improvement and will be challenged by stepping outside of the comfort zone in order to grow. 

Some topics include (but not limited to):

  • Leveraging your network
  • Understanding your strengths and opportunities
  • Understanding different personality types
  • Different leadership styles 
  • Confidence building
  • Interview skills
  • Dressing for success

This year, YWLA is partnering with Dress For Success New Orleans to show cohort participants the value in dressing for the job you seek. 

The inaugural YWLA was held May 22, 2023.


The mission of the YWLA is to cultivate the next generation of women leaders by providing the tools and strategies necessary to achieve their fullest potential personally and professionally.

Who We Are Seeking

We seek to fill the cohort with young women from diverse racial, ethnic, socioeconomic, educational, and professional backgrounds. All young women ages 18-25 interested in growing their leadership potential are encouraged to apply. Participants must be able to attend both days.

Program Information

Day 1: Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Councilmember Lesli Harris will welcome the cohort to this full day session filled with guest speakers and learning modules. There will be a networking event to end the day with Women's Leadership Academy alumnae. Lunch, snacks, and beverages will be provided, as well as hors d'oeuvers and mocktails at the networking event.

Day 2: Thursday, May 23, 2024

This half day session will continue with learning modules, panel discussion, and a special presentation from our partner, Dress For Success New Orleans. Participants will end the day receiving their certificates of completion from Councilmember Lesli Harris. Light breakfast, snacks, and beverages will will provided.

Scholarship Opportunity

Thanks to a generous donation from Cox Communications, we are able to offer a limited number of full and partial scholarships. If you would like to apply for one of these scholarships, please be sure to fill out the applicable section on the YWLA application. To be considered for a scholarship, applicants must submit their applications by April 22, 2024.

Join our email notification list for the latest news, updates, and upcoming registration for Young Women's Leadership Academy.

YWLA Cohort 1

YWLA Cohort 1 Alumnae

Councilmember Lesli Harris

YWLA Cohort 2 Program Details

Dates: Wednesday, May 22, 2024 - Thursday, May 23, 2024

Time: Wednesday, 10:30AM - 6:30PM | Thursday, 9AM - 12PM

Location: Loyola University New Orleans Uptown Campus

Building/Room: Audubon Room in Danna Student Center (2nd Floor)

Address: 6363 St. Charles Ave., NO, LA 70118

Cost: $399*

*Full and partial scholarships are available for those unable to afford the registration fees. Please complete the scholarship section on the online application below. Scholarship application deadline is April 22, 2024.

applications closed


YWLA Students


  • Selection into a small cohort of young women with aspirations to build their leadership skills and serve in leadership roles in their communities.
  • Two day workshop and curriculum specially designed for young women with leader potential.
  • Personality assessment and review to gain a deeper understanding of your personality and how it informs your leadership style.
  • Featured speakers including Councilmember Lesli Harris (New Orleans City Councilmember for District B).
  • Networking opportunities with local women leaders, including many alumnae from Loyola’s 10-month Women’s Leadership Academy.
  • Access to an active network of alumnae and special invitations to future events and opportunities for social and professional engagement.
  • Breakfast and/or lunch and snacks throughout the day for both sessions.
  • Obtainment of a Loyola University New Orleans Certificate of Completion.


"I absolutely loved learning about my personality type, and I have actually gotten others to take the test. I have also learned that by finding the environments where I’m "comfortably uncomfortable" I’ll grow as a person and leader. When researching the career paths for my personality type, they really do fit me and my interests.”

- Lauren F., Cohort 1 Alumna


"I discovered the crucial importance of fully tapping into your leadership potential. This involves first understanding your values, strengths, personality, and biases that may be blind spots. To effectively lead to the best of my ability, it is essential for me to gain insight into my own thoughts and emotions, enabling me to better comprehend and connect with those I am guiding."

- Jenna P., Associate Director of Marketing Northwestern Mutual, Cohort 1 Alumna


"Through the academy I was able to learn the importance of centering patience and understanding. I think of myself as being very introspective, and through the academy, I realized the importance of identifying the differences in how other people process information to become more effective as a leader."

- DyMonn A., Cohort 1 Alumna

Thank you 

Thank you to the New Orleans City Council, Cox Communications, and Dress for Success New Orleans for your partnership with the Office of Professional and Continuing Studies at Loyola University New Orleans. With your generous support, we were able to launch our successful Young Women's Leadership Academy in 2023 and continue to offer YWLA to young women in the Greater New Orleans area.

Office of Councilmember Lesli Harris           Cox Communications            Dress for Success

YWLA Cohort 1 

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