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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

15 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

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

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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!

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.

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.

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.

Volunteer

Rating: 4

got elected to be the steering committee member of REC, a NY based non-profit who fights against the evil practices in corporate sector that harm the environment, joined women empowerment campaigns, interned with Chairman of Political party in Tbilisi, Georgia, etc.
PLEN has strengthen my belief in women empowerment and in my myself.