According to a press release about this year’s event, sixteen undergraduates from across Montana met at the University of Montana in Missoula with many local, state and national leaders to aid in the development of leadership skills. They engaged in open-minded discussions, workshops and hands-on projects. The goal was to bring new ideas to different communities and improve community leadership and engagement altogether.
The Montana NEW Leadership Initiative is part of the national bipartisan NEW Leadership program developed by the Center for American Women and Politics (CAWP) at Rutgers University. CAWP is recognized as the national leading source of scholarly research and current data about American women’s political participation, and it works to enhance women’s influence and leadership in public life.
“It was a great leadership opportunity. We got to hear from a lot of very powerful women in leadership positions ranging from a state representative to a CEO of a big tech company and even local non-profit presidents,” said Kacin Bolinger-Perret about her experience at the Montana NEW Leadership Program.
Leadership skill training like the Montana NEW Leadership Program may help women bridge the gap between political interest and political leadership by influencing women to be active and feel comfortable when participating in politics.
The Montana NEW Leadership Institute is hosted by UM’s Mansfield Center. The Mansfield Center promotes ethics in public affairs and leadership, as well as global understanding in the spirit of Sen. Mike Mansfield (1903-2001) and his wife and life partner, Maureen Hayes Mansfield.
“With its focus on ethics and leadership, this program represents the core interests and hallmarks of Sen. Mansfield’s career,” said Deena Mansour, Administrative Director of the Mansfield Center at UM.
For more information, please visit the program’s website.