Maine NEW Leadership Institute Applications Open

The Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center is accepting applications for the 2015 Maine NEW (National Education for Women) Leadership Institute, to be held May 28-June 2, 2015 at the University of Maine.  This six-day residential, non-partisan training program, provided at no cost to 28 undergraduate college students, educates and empowers them to become a part of the next generation of effective civic and political leaders. 

Based on a curriculum developed by the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers to address the under representation of women in politics and tailored to reflect Maine’s particular political culture and climate, Maine NEW Leadership offers participants a unique and valuable opportunity to hone their leadership skills by engaging with a variety of women leaders in politics and civic organizations, interacting with and being mentored by several female faculty-in-residence, spending a day at the Maine State Legislature with legislators and policy advocates, and participating in a hands-on political action project related to women’s issues. 

With a goal of creating opportunities for women to become engaged and involved in public life, Maine NEW Leadership provides experiential training in many aspects of politics and policy making, including public speaking, coalition building, networking, advocacy, and running for office. The program ensures that participants gain an awareness of their own leadership potential and skills, and understand the importance of women running for office, taking part in campaigns, engaging in public policy development, and leading with integrity.

Graduates of Maine NEW Leadership’s previous six sessions have emerged with a commitment to become more engaged in their communities and take on leadership roles in civic or political arenas.  Reflections from last year’s graduates underscore the program’s mission:

“Thank you to everyone who participated and made Maine NEW Leadership possible.  It was a transformative experience and I am truly appreciative of all of the opportunities that are now available to me.” Alicia Rea

“I learned that people really do have to work together and that they indeed really do it!  What an inspiration both to make change and to own my power.  I love all of you” – Sonia Cook-Broen

A brochure and application can be accessed at the links.  To be eligible, undergraduates must be a Maine resident or attending college in Maine.  Graduating college seniors are also eligible.  Traditional and non-traditional college students from all socioeconomic, political, racial, ethnic, cultural, and educational backgrounds are strongly encouraged to apply.  Applications must be postmarked or hand-delivered by March 20, 2015.  

To download an application or view an inspirational video in which participants tell how NEW Leadership changed their lives and motivated them to become engaged community leaders, please visit our website at

If you have any questions, please contact Eva McLaughlin at 581-1646 or

Maine NEW Leadership Brochure 

Maine NEW Leadership Application Form