The Marsha Weinstein Girls Leadership Institute is a place where girls unite to hone their inherent leadership potential, strengthen self-confidence, and forge formative relationships through an immersive curriculum developed by girls, for girls.

The inaugural Marsha Weinstein Girls Leadership Institute was held July 16 through July 18. The Institute served 38 high school girls from 20 schools across Louisville Metro and nearby areas, including representation from as far as Lexington, KY.  This immersive experience took place on campus at Spalding University with daily classroom enrichment and evening spent bonding as a community in dormitories to simulate a true college experience.



The Marsha Weinstein Girls Leadership Institute philosophy centers on three pillars that encompass what future leaders, particularly female leaders, need to know: personal responsibility, civic responsibility, and financial responsibility. Each day served as one of the pillars, and all guest speakers and activities worked to encompass that theme.

Intermingled with this inspiring array of guest speakers were curriculum modules led by our peer advisors where participants had the opportunity to engage around a topic in a more intimate setting.  The groups were quick to bond with each other and connected with our conference theme “Act Now” in various ways.


Student learning kicked off with exploring their sense of self and how that knowledge applies to a leadership role. The CliftonStrengths assessment was administered allowing students to learn to harness their inherent strengths through focus on life experiences and relationships with others. 

Day 2: CIVIC

Learnings from Day 1 were able to be applied to the multiple networking opportunities with local female professionals who visited on Day 2.  A walking field trip to nearby organizations allowed participants to focus on giving back and connecting with new causes. The day concluded with a dialogue around understanding diversity and how this plays into their roles in the community. 


Our final day of the Institute allowed participants to look to the future. Girls made future profiles about their career goals, heard from their peer advisors about the college experience, and discussed financial planning. This day also included some outside minute-to-win-it style activities such as writing a check and drafting a formal letterhead.  

All three days featured a vast array of speakers —

Taylor Amerman, Corporate Responsibility Manager, Brown-Forman
Amanda Bates, Community Impact, Google Fiber
Paige Battcher, Website Designer, Marketing Consultant, Speaker, Launch Your Arrow, Kismet Ideas
Dana Bibb, Salon Owner/Hairstylist, Elite Styling Studio
Allison Brown, Volunteer Manager, Center for Women & Families
Liz Byron, Social Studies Teacher, J Graham Brown School
Tyrei Hanlon, Volunteer Coordinator, WaterStep
Karen Hardt, Domestic Violence Advocate, Center for Women & Families
Hayley Hoover, Social Service Specialist , Cabinet for Health and Family Services
Aimee Jewell, Employer Engagement Coordinator, University of Louisville
Kristina Johns, Digital Strategist, Doe Anderson
Lettie Johnson , Life & Leadership Speaker, Coach, & Trainer, Gifted By Design Leadership & Consulting
Becky Jones, Jefferson County Organizer, Kentuckians for the Commonwealth
Kristen Jordan, Director of Innovation Professional Services, Brightidea
Melissa Kratzer, Director of Development, Coalition for the Homeless
Mary Kate Lindsey, Project Manager, Weyland Ventures
Heather Mann, Assistant Director of Student Success, University of Louisville Speed School of Engineering
Shadea Mitchell, Business Analyst, Grant Street Group
Carmen Moreno-Rivera, Senior Process Consultant, Louisville Metro Government
Kristina Mucker, Communications Coordinator, 55,000 Degrees
Tori Murden McClure, President, Spalding University
Jamie Ogles, Director of External Relations-KYana, Volunteers of America Mid-States
Laura Patterson, Kentucky Outreach & WE Day Coordinator, WE Schools | WE
Julia Ray, Coordinator for Donor Relations, Archdiocese of Louisville
Meghan Rouse, Director of Mission Advancement, Kentucky YMCA Youth Association
Clare Rutz, Director of Development, Americana World Community Center
Barbara Sexton Smith, Councilwoman, Louisville Metro Government
Traci Simmons, Youth Coordinator, PACT in Action / Center for Women & Families
Carrie Van Winkle, Investment Advisor and Financial Planner, Natural Investments
Marsha Weinstein, Founder, Louisville Girls Leadership

A huge thanks goes to donors and partners for their unwavering support and encouragement during these groundbreaking moments with Louisville Girls Leadership. As we consider the impact of this extension of our programming we will launch programming opportunities which will coincide with the year-long LGL programming giving opportunities for additional speakers and workshops as well as a chance to meet and network with participants in the year-long program.  Our students, staff and board members are now looking to the future to determine how to keep the Institute impact going.