Young Women's Leadership Summer Institute

Our 3-Week Exploratory Pre-College Institute

The Young Women's Leadership Institute

Session 1: Sunday, June 30th- Friday, July 19th, 2024

Session 2: Sunday, July 28th- Friday, August 16th, 2024

Spend a Barnard summer in New York City! The Young Women's Leadership Institute embraces the complex relationship between gender and leadership as its focus. As an YWLI participant you should be curious, passionate, and ready to develop your skills as a leader. The Institute will allow you to develop trailblazing qualities and push you in new directions as you explore leadership through a feminist lens. Students are given the opportunity to take a course within one of our seven tracks, and work in small groups to design and execute a solution using the skills they’ve gained in their courses and workshops. You will also have the opportunity to meet with women in workplaces throughout the city to learn about the skills and tenacity needed to stand out in today’s workforce.

Explore the six tracks we offer within this institute and find a track that is just right for you.



STEMinist Track

Designed for fearless and inquisitive young women, the STEMinist track is perfect for students looking to develop their STEM skills in both lecture and laboratory settings. No matter where you are in the world, you will be able to explore science, technology, engineering, and mathematics in motion through virtual field trips and projects.  In addition to your coursework, this program begins to address some of the inequalities that women face in the STEM field and how we can begin to rewrite the narrative with our presence. 

Writing and Literature Track

Our Writing and Literature Track encourages writers to find their voice and share it with the world. Students will spend their mornings learning from Barnard instructors in courses such as The Art of the Essay, Writing New York, and playwriting, on the same campus where writers like Greta Gerwig, Zora Neale Hurson, Jhumpa Lahiri got their start. Afternoons will be spent in intensives focused on developing a writing portfolio, getting published, and careers for writers.

Political Science and Economics Track

Our Political Science and Economics track is perfect for students who want to learn more about the important role the economy plays in shaping politics and the government-- and vice versa. Students will also explore the role gender plays in shaping social and economic policy.

Urban Studies and Architecture Track

The Urban Studies and Architecture Track is designed to introduce students to the histories of cities and architecture. Students will learn about key issues in the history of the built environment and the logistics of urban development.

Art History Track

Want to learn about the history of art and self-expression while immersing yourself in New York City's art world? In our Art History Track, students learn how art has occurred through different mediums at various points in history. Students will also visit important museums, galleries and explore the thriving art world in New York City, while engaging in projects ranging from traditional drawing to digital design.

Sociology and Gender Studies Track

In this track, students will explore gender and its relation to class, race, ethnicity, and sexuality. Students will use these concepts to analyze the human experience throughout history in politics, culture and economics.

Dance Track

This track offers an interdisciplinary program that integrates the study of dance within a liberal arts setting of intellectual and creative exploration. Located in a world dance capital, students will explore what dance is in New York City.

Leadership in Action Series

During the Leadership in Action series, you will work alongside members of the Athena Center for Leadership team every Tuesday and Wednesday to deepen and expand your communication and collaboration skills and explore your own leadership identity and story. Connecting with your peers in small group sessions, you will gain a broader understanding of what leadership means to you and experiment with different ways of telling your story.