Olympia Snowe Women's Leadership Institute

When former United States Senator Olympia Snowe decided not to seek reelection in 2012, she searched for a new way to strengthen Maine and its people—specifically, her gender. 40 years of public service taught her just how critical it is to have women with strong ideas and voices at the table—assuming prominent roles in problem solving and leading our communities and organizations. During research about challenges facing young women, Senator Snowe was galvanized by the statistic that girls are losing confidence 3.5 times faster than boys as they transition from middle to high school. She immediately committed to addressing the issue and began developing what is now the Institute. Since 2015, the Olympia Snowe Women's Leadership Institute has delivered a unique program rooted in the themes: “My Values” (10th grade), “My Voice” (11th grade), and “My Vision" (12th grade). It has grown from 45 girls in the seven schools serving Androscoggin County to 540 girls from 36 schools across all of Maine's sixteen counties.

The mission of the Institute is to raise the confidence and aspirations of high school girls by helping them develop the skills required to be leaders in their lives, families, careers, and communities.

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"When I consider the myriad of people who have made this program possible – our volunteer Olympia’s Leaders’ Advisors, founders, corporate partners, foundations, individual donors, and Leaders Network members – I want to thank you all for your early and consistent gifts of financial resources and time to connect with Olympia’s Leaders. You are just as much a part of their network as the Institute is! Olympia’s Leaders will make meaningful change in our world, and together we will continue to support, challenge, and guide them toward their bright futures."

- Olympia Snowe

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