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Public Leadership Education Network PLEN

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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. PLEN’s mission is to increase the number of women in top leadership positions influencing all aspects of the public policy process.

Results: Founded in 1978, PLEN has served thousands of women, of which 50% 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

69 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Oluwatobi O.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I love how they support women from all over the country.

Sivan N.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I participated in a PLEN seminar this March, and I feel like every woman should attend one. Over the course of the five days, I met incredible women, both fellow participants as well as speakers, and gained invaluable skills such as how to network, and negotiate a contract. Thanks to PLEN I had the opportunity to talk to my representative about a cause I really care about, and attend an event with the current president of Costa Rica. I highly recommend PLEN.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 4

I speak on a panel about Public Service every year and the women who attend PLEN are just amazing! The staff is fantastic and every participant I meet gushes about the program. They all tell me how grateful they are for the opportunity to come to DC and participate in the program and I am honored to be a small part of that experience.

Client Served

Rating: 5

PLEN changed the way I looked at the career of my interest. At first, I thought it was unattainable, until I met women from all sectors of politics. PLEN made this happen. I met women who started off just like me and made the experience very personal and a reality waiting to happen. Thank You PLEN!!!

1 Carolyn79

Client Served

Rating: 5

PLEN is an excellent organization that does a great job of motivating and educating young women who want to get involved in various types of public service. PLEN works with women who are interested in science, healthcare, the legal system, and other areas of interest.

As a two-time PLEN alum (of both the Women in Congress and Leveraging Communications & Technology seminars), I am very happy to speak on PLEN's behalf and would eagerly recommend it to any college-age woman who wants to get a headstart on her career.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I work closely with college student leaders at Mount St. Mary's College in Los Angeles who participate in PLEN's seminars and each one of them returns from Washington, DC with a fire within them. PLEN does an excellent job meeting student needs, inspiring them to pursue public leadership roles, and providing them with a life-changing experience. I wish we could send even more students to participate! I'm grateful PLEN exists and that our institution has had a long-standing relationship with them.

1 Angela86

Client Served

Rating: 5

As a PLEN Alum, I was given an opportunity that far exceeded my expectation. I was given the chance to explore a new city I've always dreamed of visiting. I was given the chance to meet other women who were determined and ambitious just like me. I was given the chance to grow and learn from the PLEN seminar I attended.

1 Sara102

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The US currently ranks #84th in the world in terms of gender parity in government (Inter-Parlimentary Union 2014). Politics, a space of formal power and authority, needs to also be a space where women have a legitimate voice in how decisions are made that affect their lives. Very few organizations aim at providing women access to government so that they can see themselves in these positions of power. PLEN, the Public Leadership Education Network, is one of the most critical organizations that helps college-aged female students see themselves in positions of political leadership.

As a PLEN Coordinator at Douglass College for Women, Rutgers University for four years, I heard numerous stories from students who said that this was one of the best experiences of their collegiate life. PLEN shows women that they can work in Washington DC and make powerful decisions. The PLEN programs provide access to women in positions of power that these college students would not otherwise have. Students that attended the PLEN programs still write to me how amazing it was for them to meet these women, such as Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg or US Senator Lisa Murkowski.

Considering that the lack of women's political ambition is one of the root causes of why women are not running for elected office, and that this begins at an early age for women (Lawless and Fox 2013), it is critically important that PLEN continues to not only offer the vital programs for college-aged women students to visit DC from around the country, but also that PLEN expands to reach more students and provide more scholarships for students that need them.

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

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a volunteer mentor at a recent PLEN seminar for young women from across the country who want to make a difference , I could see first-hand how important PLEN is to these aspiring leaders. By connecting these young women to successful women leaders in a variety of careers in the public arena, PLEN is providing advice, role models and guidance early in their college educations and careers. You could feel the excitement in the room as well as the gratitude of the young women for the advice and encouragement from women leaders who were sharing their experience and expertise. PLEN offers terrific opportunities like this one throughout the year in which women leaders open doors for younger women.

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.

2

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

Client Served

Rating: 5

PLEN is an experience of a lifetime! I went to their technology conference knowing it would be great, but it exceeded my expectations. The programing was insightful and engaging. But most importantly, the PLEN volunteers, staff, and fellow attendees made it a rewarding and empowering experience. I recommend women to join the PLEN network, they won't regret it. It is also a great opportunity to explore D.C. with other talented and curious participants.

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.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

PLEN prepares outstanding female leaders for public service careers by connecting college students with real world leaders in the field.

Client Served

Rating: 5

PLEN is an amazing organization. I spent a week in Washington, D.C. and met many women in the field of international policy through their Women & International Policy seminar. They were able to connect young women (like myself) to women in all stages of their career development. It was a great introduction for me to understand what I might want for myself in the future as well as to begin building my connections now. The speakers they were able to bring held senior positions yet they were also a group of women who are really open to helping others.

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.

Toni J.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I spent the week of March 18-22 in Washington, D.C. attending a week long educational program, Women and Congress, consisting of a series of seminars sponsored by the Public Leadership Education Network (PLEN). It was an enlightening and invigorating experience.
PLEN is a national organization dedicated to preparing women for leadership in the public policy arena (www.plen.org). But don't let that switch off your interest! The primary goal of PLEN is to ensure that college women have the professional skills, connections, and knowledge needed to launch their careers upon graduation (www.plen.org). This they accomplished in spades! During the week long program we were exposed to a variety of political leadership careers and given advice on how to become leaders ourselves. We met with female Congressional and Executive Branch leaders, their staff, and other policy oriented professionals. Several of the speakers were previous PLEN participants and all were engaged, enthusiastic, and supportive. I never felt so encouraged! I wish there had been a program like this when I was in my early twenties; it would have changed my life's path.
The speakers were dynamic and varied, as were the topics. We heard presentations on how congress really works, careers in energy, environment and transportation policy, healthcare implementation policy, congressional rules, advocating for immigration policy reform, nat’l. & homeland security policy, how congress affects women globally, women’s leadership in congress, careers on the campaign trail, finding the right job and landing it, and DC business etiquette. We met with Representative Virginia Foxx (NC-05), Michelle Altman (Health-care Implementation), Meghan Taira (Leg.Assist. to Senator Schumer (D-NY), Jeanne Butterfield (Special Council, Immigration policy reform), Michele Jawando (Gen'l. Council, Senator Gilibrand (D-NY)), Susan Scanlan (Chair, Nat'l. Council on Women Org. and President, Women's Research and Education Institute), Melissa Feld (Mgr., PAC & Political Affairs, Gen'l Motors Co.), and many, many more. We participated in advocacy training, a lobby day, a goal setting workshop, a resume workshop, a visit to the Democratic/Republican National Committee (your choice), and an evening networking reception. We arranged meetings with our members of congress and observed Senate/House hearing(s). Free time (though there was little of it) was spent sightseeing in our nation's capitol.
While most of the participants were in their twenties, there were several of us who were age thirty and above (I am 56). There were probably as many different reasons for attending as there were attendees. However, we all gained valuable insight, instruction, ideas, and contacts to further each of our goals. One of the caveats that we were given was this: "As with any experience in life, you get out of it what you put into it."
I came away from the experience feeling empowered and excited. I had personally spoken with three of the speakers in the field I was interested in, exchanged business cards and made plans for further meetings. Every young (or not so young) woman should participate in this kind of experience to prepare for entry into the workforce. An immersion in a female focused business environment like this is so beneficial that I think it should be required for every female college student. The experience of being surrounded by like-minded, intelligent, and engaged women is worth the cost of the program. For those traveling from other states, discounted hotel accommodations were arranged by the PLEN at the Carlysle Hotel at a very reasonable rate.
Washington DC has its own energy and pulse; the people who work there are like no other. Just being in the environment was invigorating. You should do it, even if you think you don't have the time. It is so worth it.

Erin A.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As an intern with PLEN, I have learned more about professional development during a weeklong seminar than I could have over a year as a recent graduate. PLEN offers a fantastic experience for college women to be able to network and meet women leaders in their field of interest. PLEN’s career development workshops are something I wished I had experienced during my undergraduate career. PLEN seminars truly give college women the tools to get ahead and kick start their careers in public policy.

Jessica114

Client Served

Rating: 5

As a Sophomore in college, I went to PLEN Women and Congress in Washington DC for a week. The people I got to meet changed my whole perspective on what I want to do in the future, as did the experiences I had. I went back to school and recommended that all women go to PLEN at least once. With PLEN, I think that my interests would never have come out.

Client Served

Rating: 4

As a sophomore, I attended PLEN to learn about the difference between obtaining a J.D. or a M.P.P. During the Seminar, I learned about lobbying, met other outstanding women and traveled back to New Jersey knowing a lot more than I had expected. PLEN is an amazing and irreplaceable resource for young women to obtain professional knowledge. The seminars that PLEN provides allows collegiate women of different backgrounds and interests to speak with professional women and network. There are more women needed in our government and PLEN is doing a great job of introducing young women to possibilities earlier on.

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.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I attended the PLEN Women, Law and Public Policy Seminar in November 2012. The PLEN Seminar introduced me to the many options that are available to someone to work within the field of Law and Public Policy. We heard from and talked with women in DC who are doing a wide range of work from Non-Profit starters to Lobbyists. The Seminar taught me how to effectively network and how to promote myself in a professional setting. I would strongly recommend PLEN to any female-identified person interested in public policy in DC and in their home state.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I attended one of PLEN's seminars in Washington, DC. During the seminar I learned about how to be a more effective citizen advocate. It also helped prepare me for the scary process of getting a job. I had a few interviews scheduled for the week after the PLEN conference, and signed a contract a week later! Thanks PLEN!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

PLEN was the more formative week of my life. The org helped me realize what I wanted to do and how to do so.

1 Shannon41

Client Served

Rating: 5

PLEN help me to recognize the potential in myself to go above and beyond to achieve my goals. They opened my eyes to the inner workings of Washington DC and offered me an opportunity I would have never received if it were not for this amazing organization. I met alumni who cared about me and my goals and have made friendships for life.

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?

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Such a great opportunity to not only learn about women in public policy, but also about yourself and what your interests are. This is definitely a program I would recommend to anyone who is contemplating a public policy career, be it international or domestic.

1 Karimah M.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

PLEN encouraged me to jump start my career in International Policy. Furthermore, the organization directed me to a network of inspirational women who share my motivation to initiate change in the US and abroad.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I attended the Women and International Policy Seminar last year and I highly recommended it to any female college student. I LOVED my time participating in PLEN because its a truly amazing organization where it offers young women the opportunity to learn and listen to other female professionals in the international field. I couldn't ask for a better seminar in DC and I know that with a non profit like PLEN, it will make a great difference in so many lives as it did for mine!

Client Served

Rating: 4

Great opportunity for me to meet women in the professional work force, hear their stories, and learn about job options in my field of study. Very empowering and I would suggest this to any young woman who hopes to work in Washington DC after school.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I attended the PLEN Women and Science Technology Policy conference in January of 2012. As an upcoming science graduate, I was unsure of what path I wanted to follow. I always thought science would involve doing research for the rest of my life, but PLEN exposed me to a whole new world of opportunities that I could pursue with my science degree! They organized 5 days full of visiting various locations around DC that showed us a great variety of professions, from policy work on the Hill to the NIH to public health organizations. I would say this was absolutely a life-changing experience, and it made me realize the options that I have after graduation aside from bench research. The PLEN staff was helpful, well-organized, approachable, generous, and made the week spectacular.

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Public Leadership Education Network (PLEN) hosts several conferences throughout the year for young female students in order to help them achieve their dreams. These conferences have worked on educating, empowering and inspiring young women, like myself, to gain a strong presence in high places. In particular, I attended the Women in Public Policy seminar this past January. I was able to hear from influential female speakers in top positions from the governmental, non-profit and private sectors. Some of the speakers even attended PLEN conferences when they were students. Being someone from an impoverished neighborhood, I did not grow up seeing powerful female role models. Coming to this conference exposed me, as well as put me in contact with these influential women leaders. Speakers included Alice Rivlin (former director of the CBO), Caya Lewis (Chief of Staff, CMS) and many more. In addition, workshops and discussions were held in order to prepare us for interviews and job applications, and to inform us on current issues and events. I saw the many opportunities that were out there, and it gave me the inspiration to keep moving forward. I currently serve as an ambassador for the program, because I believe that there are many young ladies out there that would benefit from the opportunities and experiences that PLEN has to offer.

Anne36

Client Served

Rating: 5

The PLEN seminar I attended on Women & Congress was extremely helpful in making contacts on Capitol Hill, defining myself as a professional, and learning more about our legislature. I have recently graduated and this seminar helped me find the direction I was looking for in my future career goals. I would recommend this seminar to any young woman who has an interest in politics.

Hannah8

Client Served

Rating: 4

I attended the PLEN Women and Public Policy seminar this past January. It was a fantastic opportunity for me to see what it would be like in Washington and hear from amazing women about their experiences. I really enjoyed getting to know these women as they will be a great connection for me in the future. The PLEN conferences are one of the best opportunities for a college women seeking advice and a role model to peruse a career in public policy.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

PLEN opens the world of public policy to college women and makes it come alive through meetings with influential female policy makers, briefings, internships and mentorships. Public policy as taught in colleges is often really dry, technical, and boring -- and often attracts kids who have been exposed to CSPAN by their parents from a young age, leaving out those who might be interested if it had a chance to catch their imaginations. Unfortunately, the field does not always catch the imaginations of enough young women. PLEN is amazing in its committment to showing the way to a fascinating career in a field that desperately needs gender balance. I have participated in resume review sessions with PLEN students, helped source speakers for panels, and hosted happy hours to feature the organization. They have always been fabulous to work with, and make a shoestring budget do wonders, and I look forward to volunteering with them again in the future.

Client Served

Rating: 5

The summer I spent with PLEN in Washington, D.C. was the most life changing summer of my life. PLEN opens young women up to a whole world of possibilities for involvement and careers in public leadership. We met with civil rights lawyers and non-profit directors as well as corporate professionals and legislators. All of these women shared important life advice, tips and tricks of the trade, and a helping had if any of us ever needed it. I was so inspired by my PLEN internship with legal non-profit Equal Justice Works and left that summer confident that I could succeed as a civil rights lawyer and I could make positive contributions to solve social problems. I wouldn't be who I am today without having spent that summer with PLEN and for that I am truly grateful!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

PLEN is an amazing organization that offers college women unique exposure to careers in public policy, an experience that is unparalleled by any other organization in the nation. PLEN's public policy seminars are inspiring, eye-opening, motivating, and in some cases life-changing. PLEN is truly a great nonprofit that makes a big impact with a small staff and few resources.

Client Served

Rating: 5

PLEN really did change my life and how i portrayed Women in Policy and Law. This program inspired me to do more with my potential and reach higher in my future. Even months after this experience, I am still feeling the "high" and never doubted myself, or my potential. We had the opportunity to meet, learn about, and converse with such inspirational women, who both did, and did not attain a law degree. We had the opportunity to learn so much, and take so much from this once in a lifetime chance. I have told all my friends and classmates to look into this organization, because it really did change my life, and my outlook on my future.

Client Served

Rating: 5

PLEN's women in science and technology policy seminar is awesome! I participated last year and it answered so many questions I had plus some I didn't know I had! It has opened my eyes to so many possibilities in the future and I fully plan to pursue them. PLEN is organized, efficient, driven and does great work!

Hannah7

Client Served

Rating: 4

PLEN strives to encourage young women to engage in national and international issues of importance. I found the education, the opportunities, the support and the network provided to be incredible! Highly recommend ANY of their programs!

Cierra K.

Client Served

Rating: 5

PLEN gave me a better sense of what it means to be an empowered women in the political and legal fields. I gained insight as to how to go about running for office, campaigning, pursuing graduate degrees, and met influential women on Capitol Hill. PLEN allowed me to network with professional women in Washington, D.C. and I will be able to utilize these connections to help me get ahead in my future career paths.

Client Served

Rating: 5

This was a wonderful one week conference that taught me of the many diverse positions I have as a Nursing major to serve my country designing/influencing health policy. I was able to meet women at the Department of Health and Human Services, USAID and the National Institutes of Sciences. It was a delightful process of learning how crucial it is to network and learn as well as be inspired by fellow women doing great work.

Amelia C.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was lucky enough to attend PLEN's "Women, Law and Public Policy" seminar. The experience was enlightening, practical, and fun. Now, working as a PLEN Ambassador, I am able to encourage other young women to take part in PLEN programs. PLEN helped me in the difficult process of figuring out what I want to do after college, and I hope that many other young women can have this opportunity as well!

Christiane A.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I attended the PLEN Women and Science/Technology Policy seminar in January, and it was great! I got to meet with women leaders all across the fields of science, as well as tour the National Institute or Health and NASA headquarters. The seminar really gave me a complete idea of what it is like to be a woman in public policy, and how to go about achieving my goals. Also, I really enjoyed all the career building tips and workshops they provided for us. PLEN is a great experience for any woman who is considering the field of public policy.

Sarah S.

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I was hired at the Public Leadership Education Network (PLEN) to advance their communication outreach efforts and assist with a national marketing campaign. An internship was part of my American University graduate program requirement and I am so fortunate I was able to fulfill that requirement at PLEN. In my first week at PLEN, I wrote their first-ever media release about a salary-negotiation workshop hosted by PLEN Executive Direct Pamela O'Leary and Career Coach Alyssa Best, which was covered by the Washington Post. Additionally I helped brainstorm, develop and format PLEN's Media Room section of their website, which catalogs PLEN media coverage throughout the past year. PLEN gave me a lot of creative freedom with projects, were receptive and open to ideas and gave great constructive criticism. PLEN is a small non-profit, but is the only organization dedicated solely to forwarding women in public policy, so it is important that its message is heard nationally. I had a wonderful experience helping to promote this message and am excited to see what the future brings for PLEN.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am just wrapping up my summer internship with Public Leadership Education Network (PLEN) this week, and I have nothing but positive things to say about the organization. My experience was great mostly because of the staff at PLEN. They care so much about the mission of PLEN and the interns for the organization, and it's truly inspiring. These people are really doing everything they can to make sure that women have every opportunity to participate in policymaking and achieve their dreams, and my work with PLEN has most definitely inspired the feminist in me!

Elizabeth C.

Client Served

Rating: 5

PLEN is an amazing organization that truly embodies the power of networking and support. I was very fortunate to be the recipient of the Sutherland Scholarship that helped me with my expenses to travel to D.C from Los Angeles, Ca. I could have not asked for a better experience and company to be surrounded by for my 1st time in the East Coast. The selections of speakers were truly honest and sincere with their insightful advice and were as enthusiastic to meet us, as we were to meet them. I am so excited for the PLEN new mentor program they have established which I know will be extremely rewarding for my future. After the Women & International Policy seminar I know I will defiantly be trying to continue my education and future in D.C. PLEN indeed was one of the BEST decisions of life.

Donor

Rating: 5

I attended the PLEN conference for women in international policy recently and it was such an incredible experience! The women that I met, both as part of the conference, speakers, and at networking events were truly inspirational! I feel like I have a much better idea what I need to do to prepare myself to be successful and to get started making a difference!

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.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Earlier this year (January, 2011) I received a Women's Studies as well as a Community Medicine student grant from West Virginia University to attend the PLEN Women and Public Policy Seminar. The experience far exceeded my expectations! It gave me a taste of the fast paced life of a female professional in a leadership role in DC. Having chosen the Healthcare and Sustainabilty tracks, I was able to hear from leading women and pioneers in my fields of interest; not only about their professional trajectories, but also about personal trials and tribulations that they had to overcome to be where they are today. It was incredibly inspirational! Furthermore, I gained access to the US Dept. of State, the Congress, and had the opportunity to mingle and network with influential women in the field. Being able to see such powerful women up-close and personal made it seem like success and power and influence-all required to bring about lasting change in society, are all truly attainable. It was a life changing experience! The PLEN staff are an amazing group of dynamic women, all young upcoming leaders in of themselves. I would recommend this to any woman, young or not-so-young (I'm a mid-career professional), who desires to assume a leadership position in society.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Three weeks ago I participated in PLEN's Women and Congress Seminar. PLEN was a wonderful experience organized by kind, ambitious, outgoing women to help college women see what it is like to be involved in Congress. The program was presented in in organized manner. I felt honored to participate in what I feel was a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Client Served

Rating: 4

I attended a PLEN event for the first time this past fall, and absolutely loved it. It was a great opportunity to hear about the field of law and public policy, and from women who had gone through what I am about to go through as a graduating senior! PLEN provided a diverse range of career paths to think about, and really gave us the opportunity to connect and network with women who we could potentially work with someday. I also attended PLEN on a scholarship, which was extremely helpful to me as a college student.

Volunteer

Rating: 3

I had a wonderful time at PLEN listening to women who took dramatically different paths on the road to leadership. This program was inspiring in that it demonstrated the powerful positions women can obtain in today's world.

Client Served

Rating: 4

When I attended the 2010 PLEN conference on Women, Law, and Public Policy, I was very impressed with the speakers and panelists. These accomplished women were willing to take time out of their schedules to inspire, encourage, and offer candid advice to young ladies interested in careers in their fields. This was by far one of the most practical experiences I've had thus far in preparing for law school and a career in the law. Thanks to PLEN, I feel more confident and excited to pursue my goals, and I'm more aware of the concrete steps I need to take to achieve them.

Jovita W.

Client Served

Rating: 5

The PLEN conference brings young women from all around the country to Washington DC to meet professional women working and living in Washington DC. The Professional women share their stories and give advice to young women so that they too can become successful in the future. Overall, it is an inspiring event that allows for networking and personal growth.

Client Served

Rating: 4

I'm a second year Master of Public Health student in the Health Policy and Management track at West Virginia University. I attended the PLEN Women & Public Policy seminar in January 2011. It was very enlightening to hear from so many successful women in different areas of policy. If you're interested in federal government, I would recommend attending a PLEN seminar before you graduate. Also, my visit to the Trust for America's Health, a health advocacy organization, was especially interesting. The educational materials, reports and media campaigns produced by the group were geared towards disease prevention.

Client Served

Rating: 5

PLEN is an intensive and effective program that truly integrates engaging women candidates from around the country into inside-the beltway DC politics. I attended PLEN’s Women in Law seminar in 2008, and I appreciate all the insight, advice, and connections they provided.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Public Leadership Education Network (PLEN) is an non-profit organization aimed to provide college women with professional career preparation, skill-building seminars and powerful networks with enormous women leaders in greater Washington DC area. I participated in PLEN’s Women & Public Policy Internship Semester and attended weekly seminars during summer 2010. In each seminar, I studied the policy process, current policy issues, women’s impact and organizational leadership in public policy through meeting and building relationships with women leaders in the policy arena. Moreover, I acquired professional development skills, including resume/cover letter writing, interview skills and networking tips through sincere help and persistent training section. PLEN has indeed offered a great platform for young women to experience a life working in DC and have a taste of political environment. For me, PLEN is the first and probably the best place to set off my professional career and build up my work experience.

Client Served

Rating: 5

The seminar that I took in January was incredibly eye-opening for me. I am about to graduate from UVA and I am on the job search and am thinking of my possibilities after I graduate. The PLEN Seminar on Women and Public Policy was empowering because I felt so much more informed after I went and got a lot of information in options that I have as a college graduate. But it was also empowering to see so many powerful women and hearing them speak about the impact they have on all levels of government and in different arenas of policy like education and the environment. It was really helpful to also learn the importance of networking through the other young women in the room as well as the women who came to speak. I would have liked more time to get resume critiques but other wise it was a really great week long seminar!

Client Served

Rating: 5

I received a Student Leadership Grant to attend the PLEN Women and Public Policy Seminar this past January. The experience exceeded any expectation I could have imagined as it has changed my trajectory and continues to provide me with opportunities due to the relationships and networks I was able to develop in the week I was there. PLEN allowed me to see myself through a different lens and gave me the the tools to develop a path that is all my own. Pamela O'Leary is the new Executive Director and I believe that under her leadership PLEN will continue to grow and provide a wide range of opportunities for all of those who are fortunate to have the experience. I am so glad that I attended and am now part of a vital Alumnae network. I can't wait to present at my school about the experience and encourage other students to step outside of their comfort zones and see themselves differently. PLEN is not just for Politics majors, it is for anyone who wants to be involved in lasting social change and develop as a leader. To be in the company of such amazing and diverse women is something I will never forget. the program was well organized and the speakers interesting and available.

Client Served

Rating: 4

PLEN's Women and Science/Technology Policy Seminar is a great way to be integrated into Washington DC's science and policy world. I learned first-hand from experts and practitioners in the field about their life experiences and specific trainings. My favorite experience was the tour and speaker at the National Institute of Health as well as the small group session with the Congressional Research Library. The program schedule offered engaging, inspiring speakers and the program leaders were very approachable and sweet. This seminar is a great opportunity to learn about the positions you may one day strive to achieve. This a great learning experience with opportunity to think about your career life in a new light.

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.