March 12, 2019 Melissa Lamar

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Tunxis Community College in Farmington kicked off “Launch Your Leadership Journey,” a tuition-free, experiential leadership development program for Tunxis female students, at a reception on Feb. 8.

During the semester-length program, students receive pre- and post-testing of their leadership qualities and participate in a series of Saturday workshops that cover leadership presence, goal setting, assertiveness, networking and other timely topics. In addition to the workshops, students are assigned female mentors who provide support and guidance to them during the program.

“I am excited to bring the Women’s Leadership Institute ‘Launch Your Leadership Journey’ program to Tunxis,” said Eileen Peltier, dean of workforce development and continuing education at Asnuntuck and Tunxis Community Colleges, who leads the program at both colleges. “Over the last four years, we’ve had four cohorts of students at Asnuntuck go through this program, and it has been phenomenal in terms of personal transformation and professional development, so I am excited to bring this program to Tunxis, customized to Tunxis students’ needs.”

The 13 students chosen to participate will gain practical experience in leading change by working in small teams to plan and execute a social action project during the semester. A graduation ceremony will be held April 26.

Eight of the students in the program are the first generation in their families to attend college. They represent five countries including the United States, and speak 10 languages.

The program is funded by a $10,000 grant from the Aurora Women and Girls Foundation, and is also sponsored in part by Highland Park Market of Farmington.

“Aurora is proud to support the Launch Your Leadership Journey program at Tunxis because it offers women the tools they need to be successful in college and in their careers,” said Jennifer Steadman, Ph.D., executive director of the Aurora Foundation for Girls and Women. “Learning about networking, goal setting, and self-advocacy are crucial aspects of the program that will help these students succeed in the classroom and in the boardroom.”

To be selected for the program, Tunxis students must submit an application which includes a minimum GPA requirement, a written statement that explains why they want to develop leadership abilities, and attend an interview.

From fine arts, health, and technology to business and advanced manufacturing programs, Tunxis Community College offers more than 70 associate degrees and certificates, providing critical thinking and problem-solving skills that prepare students for transfer to bachelor’s degree programs and employment in areas with industry need. Tunxis is located at the junction of Routes 6 and 177 in Farmington.

The Aurora Foundation is the only women and girls fund exclusively focused on the needs of women and girls in Greater Hartford, and it is currently the only free-standing foundation in Connecticut focused solely on supporting groups that serve women and girls. Aurora’s goal through its grant making is to empower more women to complete their college education, enabling them to better their lives and those of their families.

Since 2004, the Foundation has provided more than $550,000 in grants to programs in the region that supported 4,100 women and girls in Greater Harford.