Women Veterans Leadership Program

Presentation from the first Cohort of the WVLP

The Women Veterans Leadership Program changes the narrative on what it means to be a woman veteran by leveraging their leadership skills and authentic selves to become change-makers, all while enhancing their personal and professional networks. By the end of this one-of-a-kind program, cohort members will have made lifelong friends and lasting connections with other women veterans. Everyone will feel empowered to lead the charge for gender equality in their communities.

Application Process

Cohort 4 | Spring 2022

APPLICATIONS ARE NOW OPEN UNTIL JANUARY 12TH!

  • Orientation

    VIRTUAL

    Evening of March 1st or March 3rd

  • March 18-20, 2022

    IN-PERSON

    Travel on March 17th, 2022

  • May 11-13, 2022

    VIRTUAL

    11:00 AM – 4:30 PM ET

  • July 22-24, 2022

    IN-PERSON

    Travel on July 21st, 2022

Unlock your potential

Our experiences and research highlights a growing chasm between the potential for women veterans to lead and succeed in life after service, and the reality of our lived-experiences. Women veterans are asked to confront systemic challenges with communication, loss of identity, confidence and self care, all of which make their journey to leadership roles more difficult.

Featured in the January 2021 issue of  G.I. JOBS Magazine, The Mission Continues’ Women Veterans Leadership Program tackles these challenges, so that women veterans build a movement to pursue equality of all women.

Download the full program prospectus here: WVLP Cohort 4 Prospectus

The Women Veterans Leadership Program (WVLP), launched in March 2020, provides leadership skills and knowledge for women veterans to build a movement so we can pursue equal opportunities for all women in leadership attainment.

WVLP program members will have opportunities to engage a nationwide network of women leaders and The Mission Continues staff throughout the five-months of the program and beyond. After completion of the program, WVLP graduates will gain access to a growing alumni network and be eligible for additional mentorship and leadership opportunities to help grow a veteran-led movement of service.

 

GOALS

We have three primary goals for graduates of the Women Veterans Leadership Program:

  1. To provide program members with the knowledge, mindsets, skills and resources essential to proudly identify as a woman veteran and leader
  2. Strengthened confidence and renewed passion to raise their voice and serve as an ally for other women in leadership attainment
  3. And lastly, take the knowledge, skills and experience and make a difference in their community.

 

WHO SHOULD APPLY

  • You are a self-identifying woman with military service under your belt, motivated to become a leader, and are ready to take on a new challenge.
  • This program is best suited for women veterans in their early or mid-career.
  • Able to commit to approximately 3-5 hours per week over five months, including three 3-day virtual conference-style sessions.
  • Comfortable actively engaging in a virtual learning environment.

 

COSTS

  • Program: Free of cost. This is an investment in you and your leadership, courtesy of The Mission Continues’ community of donors.

 

QUESTIONS

For additional questions regarding the program beyond our FAQ, contact Lauren Gilmartin, Manager of the Women Veterans Leadership Program, at lgilmartin@missioncontinues.org

To sponsor the Women Veterans Leadership Program, contact Corporate Partnerships Manager, Melissa Gruber at mgruber@missioncontinues.org.

The Mission Continues empowers veterans who are adjusting to life at home to find purpose through community impact. We accomplish our mission by ensuring all of our programming focuses on providing veterans opportunities for 1) personal growth, 2) connectedness and 3) making an impact in their community. 

These three components make up The Empowered Veteran Index (EVI), a framework The Mission Continues developed by examining internal and external research of programs that serve similar veteran and community populations. The EVI provides a blueprint for which all programmatic goals and events executed by The Mission Continues are developed, with the goal of improving individual empowerment amongst veterans. By participating in WVLP, you can expect to accomplish the following objectives:

 

1) Personal Growth 

  • Discover the power of your unique identities and how they can be leveraged as assets to your leadership
  • Define your values and identify how these inform your authentic leadership pathway
  • Foster your inclusive leadership skills by listening and learning from individuals with diverse identities, experiences and backgrounds
  • Improve your self-efficacy and ability to remain resilient in the face of adversity 
  • Learn effective communication techniques
  • Explore and inform your leadership strengths using a behavior assessment tool called DISC

2) Connectedness

  • Develop practical skills for networking both in-person and virtually
  • Analyze your existing network and develop a plan for enhancing your support systems
  • Build relationships with other women veteran leaders in your cohort 
  • Build relationships with other members of the larger The Mission Continues Community

3) Community Impact

  • Explore the power of the woman veteran voice and the unique ability of women veterans to lead
  • Engage in community service opportunities with your local service platoon 
  • Engage in a large-scale community service project with your cohort 
  • Demonstrate an understanding of your ability and responsibility to affect positive change
  • Identify a cause you feel passionately about 
  • Develop a plan for calling others to join you in taking action

Various learning modalities grounded in best practices in adult learning theory are utilized to deliver the WVLP curriculum to program members.

 

Full Cohort Sessions: Throughout the five months, the entire Cohort will come together three times, for 3-day conference style sessions at the beginning (Session I), middle (Session II) and end (Session III) of the program. The first and third sessions will be held in-person in a different city each time. During these in-person sessions, program members will connect and learn alongside each other by engaging in interactive workshops led by subject matter experts, hear from diverse women leaders through panel discussions as well as individual featured speakers, and complete one community service project. Session II will be very similar in its objectives but will be held virtually over Zoom. All costs associated with travel, lodging and most meals for the in-person sessions will be covered by The Mission Continues.  

 

Live Virtual Sessions: In addition to coming together on Zoom for Session II, between each of our main sessions, women will attend one-off virtual workshops led by experts in the field. 

 

Learning Management System: The curriculum of WVLP is carefully designed to ensure program members are growing in each of the program’s five focus areas and engaging in coursework leading up to and coming out of the three big sessions. The Mission Continues Leadership Development programs utilize LearnUpon, an online learning management system where program members will engage in self-paced learning, accountability group assignments, and connect with other program members and WVLP program Advisor. Program members will receive a program syllabus at the start of your cohort that includes a brief overview of each course including both enrollment and assignment due dates.

 

Accountability Groups: Ahead of orientation, each program member will be placed in and introduced over email to their WVLP Accountability Group. The use of accountability groups within WVLP serves to foster connection-building between program members while providing built-in support and a forum for both discussing and completing program work. Accountability groups ensure each program member has an opportunity to learn from and alongside a diverse group of women leaders.

 

Session attendance

Before the program officially kicks off in-person at Session I, all WVLP members are required to attend one of two virtual program orientation options. Additionally, full attendance at all three of our 3-day sessions is mandatory for program completion. During these full-cohort sessions, program members attend dynamic workshops and presentations, as well as build meaningful connections to other women in the program. For our upcoming Cohort, the session dates and locations are below.  

Please note: attendance at all three of these sessions will require taking time off of work. We ask that all program members are fully engaged and present at these sessions, so please ensure that you are able to make arrangements to attend before committing to the program. 

  • Orientation (virtual): Evening of March 1st or March 3rd, 2022
  • Session I (in-person): March 18-20, 2022 (Travel on March 17th 
  • Session II (virtual): May 11-13, 2022 11:00-4:30 PM ET 
  • Session III (in-person):  July 22-24, 2022 (Travel on July 21st

 

Additional live trainings

Throughout the program, WVLP members will also be invited to join additional live workshops and training sessions in between the larger, mandatory sessions. These interactive workshops support continued learning and are strongly encouraged for all program members to attend. Sessions are led by subject matter experts and offer opportunities to continue building connections to other women in the cohort. 

 

Coursework completion

Throughout the program, you will regularly be enrolled in new courses through the LMS. During orientation, you will receive a program syllabus that provides an overview of each course you will be enrolled in over the five-month program. Some will be completely independent, self-paced learning, and other courses will require you to work with your accountability group. The syllabus will include enrollment and due dates for each course, and our expectation is that program members are regularly submitting their coursework on time. 

 

Time commitment

WVLP is an intensive leadership development opportunity, and we estimate that program members will spend an average of 3-5 hours/week completing program work throughout the entire five months. The time commitment fluctuates and may sometimes be above or below this estimate.  

 

Final project Public Narrative presentation:

To tie all of the program learning together, WVLP members will complete their own Public Narrative as a capstone project. At the program culmination in Session III, all program members will present their Public Narrative in small groups of fellow cohort membersThe Mission Continues staff and additional program supporters. 

 

Access to technology:

In order to complete this program, WVLP members will need access to an email account, a reliable internet connection, and a computer and/or tablet with a video camera for video meetings, virtual learning, and email communication.

Admissions Process:

Eligibility:

  • Self-identify as a woman
  • U.S. military veteran from all branches or currently serving in the National Guard or Reserves
  • U.S. resident who currently resides in one of the 40+ metro areas we serve
  • Completed one year of military service with a Character of Service above a “Dishonorable Discharge.” Applicants with a Dishonorable Discharge status can still apply and will be reviewed and considered on a case-by-case basis
  • Current or upcoming platoon leaders will be considered on a case-by-case basis due to the competing time commitments required for both
  • Women Veterans Leadership Summit and/or Service Leadership Corps alumnae are eligible to apply. However, this is an introductory program that assumes no previous leadership training with us. Therefore, it will be most beneficial to women who have not previously attended the Women Veterans Leadership Summit and/or Service Leadership Corps

During their time in WVLP, program members will have a team of Mission Continues staff here to support them in successfully completing and getting the most out of this program. In particular, each woman veteran will have a dedicated Program Advisor available to answer questions and coach them through the program content and curriculum.

 

Lauren Gilmartin

Senior Manager, Women Veterans Leadership Program

Contact: lgilmartin@missioncontinues.org

 

 

 

Renee Foster, US Navy Veteran

Advisor, Women Veterans Leadership Program

Contact: mfoster@missioncontinues.org

 

 

Janet Newsome, US Navy Veteran 

Advisor, Women Veterans Leadership Program

Contact: jnewsome@missioncontinues.org

 

 

 

Taylor Sprague

Learning & Development Manager 

Contact: tsprague@missioncontinues.org

WHO IS ELIGIBLE TO APPLY FOR THE WOMEN VETERANS LEADERSHIP PROGRAM?

The Women Veterans Leadership Program is open to U.S. veterans, Guardsmen, and Reservists from all branches and generations of service. Applicants must identify as a woman, reside in one of our 56 cities, have completed one year of military service and have a Character of Service above a “Dishonorable Discharge.”

 

I WAS DISCHARGED BEFORE SEPTEMBER 11, 2001. AM I ELIGIBLE?

Yes, veterans of all eras are eligible to apply.

 

I RECEIVED A GENERAL DISCHARGE “UNDER HONORABLE CONDITIONS,” AM I ELIGIBLE TO APPLY FOR THE PROGRAM?

Yes. However, we will request additional information as to the circumstances surrounding your discharge for further consideration.

 

I AM GETTING OUT OF THE MILITARY SOON. CAN I APPLY NOW AND START SERVING AFTER MY DISCHARGE?

Yes. If you are on active duty and intend to start the program after you’re discharged from active duty then you can start your application now. All WLVP participants must be retired or separated, on IRR, or in the Guard or Reserves only.

 

CAN ACTIVE SERVICE PLATOON LEADERS APPLY FOR THE WOMEN VETERANS LEADERSHIP PROGRAM?

Current or upcoming platoon leaders will be considered on a case-by-case basis due to the competing time commitments required for both

 

HOW DO I APPLY FOR THE WOMEN VETERANS LEADERSHIP PROGRAM?

Interested applicants can apply on our website during the application period. Between enrollment periods, you can sign up to receive updates about the next admissions cycle.

I can’t say enough how GRATEFUL and beyond BLESSED that I was selected to be apart of this program. I am appreciative of each and everyone who has made it possible for myself and all the women veterans from across the world come together! I NEEDED this RIGHT NOW in my life! I have sat back long enough on the sides and it’s time to go FULL FLEDGE in my role as a TRUE and AUTHENTIC LEADER for the WORLD to hear and know my story as they will be inspired to write their own. Thank you to ALL of the women in the cohort who have accepted me as I am and ALL OF MY ENERGY!!!

Jamicka Edwards, U.S. Army Veteran, WVLP Cohort 1 Alumna

Raising Our Voices: Stories from Women Veterans

Women Veterans Leadership Program Raising Our Voices: Crystal Reidy National
Women Veterans Leadership Program Raising Our Voices: Keisha Sweeney National
Women Veterans Leadership Program Raising Our Voices: Jaime Smith National

What will you get out of the Program?

Women Veterans Leadership Program is supported by

Presenting Sponsor
Platinum Sponsors
Gold Sponsors
Bronze Sponsors
With Support From

Interested in supporting women veterans’ development?

Presentation from the first Cohort of the WVLP