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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

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.