WELCorps Student Leaders Program Advocates Bravery

As the fall semester of the WELCorps Leaders Program kicked off, WELFund was excited to welcome speaker Rachel Simmons as she led students in a training session to educate them about the importance of bravery and risk taking. Simmons is a best-selling author, founder of the Girls Leadership Institute, and developer of leadership programs for undergraduates at the Center for Work and Life at Smith College. She was the host of the PBS television special, A Girl’s Life, and is also a contributing writer and advice columnist for Teen Vogue. Simmons has been profiled by the New York Times, and her writing has been published in the Washington Post, The Atlantic, CNN.com, and the Huffington Post. She has also appeared on Oprah and Good Morning America to discuss her research and findings.

According to Simmons, “Young women are more successful today than ever. Yet many are still developing their ‘inner resume,’ or the skills and confidence to speak up, take healthy risks, and advocate for themselves. In order to thrive in college and beyond, students increasingly need this skill set.” Simmons' workshops are renowned for giving participants concrete tools they can use in their everyday lives.

Because women tend not to set goals in realistic ways, Simmons helped the students focus on identifying steps that were in their comfort zones, risk zones, and high risk zones. This helped students make a clearer, more achievable path to reaching goals.

In this workshop, Simmons also emphasized a self-compassion reflection activity. By asking students to highlight a particular misstep or let-down experience they’ve encountered, Simmons emphasized the supportive process of being mindful of the situation in an objective manner, practicing self-kindness, and making the connection to others who might be experiencing something similar or worse.

As an author, educator, and coach helping girls and young women grow into emotionally intelligent and assertive adults, Simmons provided tremendous input and valuable tips for students to use in their own lives.

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