The Women’s Leadership Project (WLP) is a feminist mentoring, civic engagement and service learning advocacy program designed to educate and train young middle and high school age women in South Los Angeles to take ownership of their school-communities.  Since 2006 WLP has been based at South L.A. high schools like Gardena High School, Washington Prep High School, King-Drew Medical Magnet and Duke Ellington Continuation School. It is sponsored by the L.A County Human Relations Commission and partnerships with the Positive Results Corporation and Healthy Start. 

Using a humanist curriculum with a social justice lens, the goal of the program is to empower young women of color to develop their own voices, increase their self-esteem, foster healthy relationships, promote critical consciousness about and activism around race, gender and LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning) equality, and prepare for college and careers.

WLP guides young women through school-community advocacy projects of their own choosing, toward helping them develop and sharpen their critical thinking, writing, collaboration and leadership skills. WLP’s four-year college going rate for graduating seniors is significantly above that of the general population of its home schools.  Over the past several years, WLP alumni have been admitted to and attended UCLA, UC Irvine, Syracuse University, the College of Hobart and William, Cal State Long Beach, Northridge and Dominguez as well as UCLA Medical School.

WLP Core Programs Feature

  • College Access mentoring (including financial aid/scholarship resource assistance for foster care, undocumented and LGBTQ youth)
  • Women of Color Speaker Series
  • WLP alumni College Panel
  • Women of Color in the U.S. class
  • STEM programming and mentoring
  • Media literacy, blogging and video development
  • Partnering with Young Male Scholars’ program
  • Peer education trainings:
    -reproductive health and reproductive rights
    -sexual violence prevention and CSEC awareness
    -intimate partner violence and domestic violence
    -LGBT equality & anti-homophobia training
    -HIV/AIDS prevention
    -Women’s history


The Young Male Scholars (YMS) program provides 9-12th grade African American students with college preparation, expository writing, critical thinking and media literacy training.  Students receive mentoring, guidance and instruction on devising a college plan, developing public speaking and collaboration skills, writing critical essays and identifying long term academic/professional goals.  Students learn to identify and challenge the role stereotypes and discrimination based on gender, race, sexuality, class, disability and community impact their lives.  Students develop and participate in men of color college forums, field trips and video projects as ongoing and culminating activities.