WLP is a feminist humanist college prep mentoring program for girls of color in South L.A. high schools
Who We Are: A mentoring and leadership program for young women of color in South Los Angeles high schools. The program is staffed by educator-mentors Sikivu Hutchinson and Diane Arellano.
Our Story: Women's Leadership Project (WLP) fills a vacuum in a school district that has few programs that specifically address the intersection of sexism, racism, misogyny and heterosexism in the lives of young women of color. The program is designed to redress the normalized violence that young women of color encounter on a daily basis and has trained hundreds of 10-12th students to question and challenge the normalization of violence against women and advocate for safer school-communities.
Our Project and Why it Matters: Using a feminist secular humanist curriculum, WLP trains young women of color high school students to do peer education outreach on violence prevention, reproductive justice, HIV/AIDS education, LGBTQ equality, undocumented youth advocacy and sexual assault awareness. The majority of our students are first generation (first in the family) college students and the WLP college prep curriculum sends girls of color to four year colleges and universities at above average rates. For example, the four-year college going rate at partner school Gardena High Schoool is approximately 20%. WLP's four year rate is over 90%. WLP is the only program for girls of color that explicitly addresses the relationship between organized religion, sexism and misogyny and homophobia. The campaign will provide funding to keep this program sustainable with quality programming and mentorship. The past three WLP cohorts have received prestigious scholarships to top four year colleges and universities. The majority of our participants are first generation college students. 2012-2013 cohorts have received full scholarships to private universities from the Posse Foundation and QuestBridge.
Our Budget: Funding for WLP's program coordinator will expire in December 2013. For the past five years, the program has been funded through county government sources annually at $20,000 for the Program Coordinator's part-time salary of 25 hours a week. Our tipping point of $1500 will cover the cost of a Program Coordinator for 1 month. Our total ask will cover her cost for 2 months. All additional funds raised will contribute toward the Program Coordinator while we continue to seek additional funding for 2014. The Program coordinator works on a daily basis with students at our three school sites. The coordinator helps recruit students, develops lesson plans and gender justice curricula, trains students to do peer education workshops and works directly with first generation students on their college plans.