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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Leadership Development

Mission: The Public Leadership Education Network (PLEN) is the only national organization with the sole focus is preparing women for leadership in the public policy arena.

Results: Founded in 1978, PLEN has served thousands of women, of which more than one-third are women of color or from other populations historically under-represented in public policy leadership.

Target demographics: College Women

Direct beneficiaries per year: Each year, PLEN brings about 250 women students from colleges and universities across the country to Washington, D.C. for a weekend or week to experience first-hand how public policy is shaped and implemented at the national level.

Geographic areas served: National

Programs: Students meet with and learn from women leaders making and influencing public policy at the highest levels in the Congress, courts, federal agencies, corporate sector, policy research and advocacy organizations and the news media. PLEN’s Program Schedule http://plen.org/programs

Community Stories

11 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been an active volunteer, committee member and now Board member with PLEN since 2000 and continue to be impressed by the quality of the students and the programs. I learn and get back from each seminar so much more than I give. PLEN is a wonderful organization that provides a meaningful and unique educational experience to hundreds of students each year at a very low cost.

1

Board Member

Rating: 4

As a member of the PLEN Board of Directors, I am happy to help college women learn more about government relations and public policy. I attended an all-girls, college prep high school and have known, since that time, how important the camaraderie and support of other women is in the educational process. Seeing young women become more confident in their skills over the days during a PLEN seminar, and in the time following, is priceless. I enjoy being part of an organization which gives such great opportunities to young women.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

As both an alumna and a board member of PLEN, I'm so glad to see engaged young women taking advantage of all that this organization has to offer. It definitely broadened my perspective to the breadth of opportunities in Washington, D.C., as well as expanded my network to an amazing group of women who were so willing to help me in any way that they could.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

PLEN seminars provide college women with insider access to Washington, D.C., an opportunity that is not otherwise available to many students on the West Coast. Students learn the art of networking and come back with a great understanding of why it is important to create and maintain connections in order to succeed in their careers.

Each time a student returns from PLEN, she is overwhelmed with enthusiasm and energized by the women leaders that she met. I see PLEN as a key educational component for any woman interested in pursuing a career in policy or politics.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

As both an alumna and a board member of PLEN, I have seen the impact its program has from both sides. It helped me connect with peers and mentors when I was a part of the program, which helped me achieve what I have this far in my career. Now as a board member, I continue to hear of the amazing achievements PLEN alumni have reached and the impact they say PLEN had.

Lisa2345678910111213141516

Advisor

Rating: 5

PLEN always makes such a difference in the lives of our students! They return to campus filled with excitement about the public policy process and ready to take on the challenges of our world. SO many of our recent graduates have attended PLEN seminars and then moved to Washington to find important jobs where they can make a difference. PLEN is transformative!

Previous Stories

Board Member

Rating: 5

I attended my first PLEN seminar during my first year at Douglass College of Rutgers University. After that first foray into Washington, I couldn't get enough! So, I went several more times during my years in college. The view of Washington, D.C. that I received from the many women leaders who spoke to us and shared their own stories was priceless. Those early entries into Washington resulted in a career in politics and now in higher education that has provided a lifetime of love for public policy and for the critical role that women mentors can play in the lives of young women. PLEN opens doors - it is that simple - to young women's careers and life development. In my own life and career, I have discovered that the power of giving to young women is multiplied exponentially over time. I am grateful for that power that PLEN gave to me almost a quarter of a century ago. It is only a pleasure to give back to PLEN and to young women now.

1 Anne35

Board Member

Rating: 5

I am a PLEN Board Member as well as highly active volunteer. PLEN program participants have a life changing experience, and I am so proud to be part of this organization. If you are considering a career in public policy, attending a PLEN program is critical. Not only will you also gain career insights but also learn career jumpstarting, networking and leadership skills. PLEN is also a relevant and cost-effective corporate investment opportunity for any organization that has a Washington, DC office and/or works on policy issues.

Previous Stories

Board Member

Rating: 4

PLEN, the Public Leadership Education Network, is probably one of the busiest and most effective organizations I have encountered of its size. PLEN seeks to encourage college women to explore public policy careers. It's 3- and 5-day seminars throughout the year expose the students to legislators and their staff, high-ranking executive branch decision-makers, and for-/not-for-profit women impacting public policy. The students are able to see the breadth of public policy career options available to them. Additionally, PLEN provides a summer internship enrichment program that DC-area interns can participate in. I am a Board Member and very active volunteer for PLEN as well as serve as the organization's Advancement Committee Chair. I am an alum of Goucher College, one of PLEN's founding members. I am proud to be part of this small but highly impactful organization. I urge others who do not already know about PLEN to learn more at www.plen.org.

EllieS

Board Member

Rating: 5

College women participants tell me that the Public Leadership Education Network (PLEN) has made a difference in their life. PLEN's mission is to prepare women for leadership in the public policy arena. It's a lofty goal and one that PLEN has accomplished for 35 years. I believe PLEN changes the lives of all that participate: students, speakers, staff, interns, colleges, sponsors and board members. We share the passion for the next generation of women leaders, and see the legacy of a seed that is planted and nurtured.

We all have a role to play. When the last session is completed, the last thank you note written, all the feedback compiled and we reflect on the experience, we must take what we've learned and put it into action. What is your role?

Board Member

Rating: 5

I participated in PLEN's internship program during my senior year of college, and I was lucky enough to work for PLEN after graduation. PLEN helped demystify what "working in DC" means and connected me with a network of women committed to mentoring young women.

I now serve on PLEN's board as an alumni member, and I'm glad to have the opportunity to give back to an organization that did so much for me.

From my experience with PLEN, I know that the organization and staff are dedicated to providing students with a personal, rewarding seminar experience in DC.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I was a PLEN seminar student my sophomore year in college, the experience changed my life. I came to DC for the first time, I PLENs program that introduces young women to policy and government showed me a whole new world and change my life forever. I returned to school with a new plan, returning to DC as soon as possible. That very summer I attended the PLEn internship program where I worked for an international women's research and advocacy group. I built up a great DC professional network, PLEN helped me with my resume and my interview skills. After graduation returned to DC and have been involved with PLEN ever since. I have spoken to student seminars and I am now an alumni representative on the Board of Directors. PLEN is yet again giving me an experience that I wouldn't normally have as a young professional. This is what PLEN does opens young women's horizons to the possibilities and helps make those possibilities into realities.

PLEN changed my life and has changed that of women for more then 25 years. The small seminars with women working in policy across the career spectrum from new grads to seasoned professionals give students a great perspective of possible career paths.